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  • How to Set Screen Time Rules? Make Sure They Accomplish These Tasks First!

    Get your kids to do more activities that do not involve gadgets.
    by Kitty Elicay .
How to Set Screen Time Rules? Make Sure They Accomplish These Tasks First!
PHOTO BY iStock
  • The World Health Organization recommends just an hour a day of screen time for kids ages 2 to 4 years old. For parents with school-age or older children, they might set screen time limits and only allow access on weekends. But will this be enough to inspire kids to get off their gadgets and do more physical activities or engage in active play?

    One way to enforce screen time limits is to use a checklist that requires your kids to accomplish personal tasks, chores, and activities before they can get ahold of their gadgets each day.

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    How to set screen time rules

     To help you out, here are some examples of what you can include in your child’s checklist. You can also personalize one based on their personality and interests (see our printable versions below!) or have them do some activities from different categories such as:

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    Personal tasks to complete before screen time

    • Brush teeth
    • Wash hands
    • Take a bath
    • Go pee or poo
    • Get dressed
    • Eat breakfast or lunch

    Household chores to complete before screen time

    • Put toys away
    • Put clothes in the laundry bin
    • Set the table for mealtime
    • Carry bowl and spoon to the sink after mealtime
    • Make their bed
    • Clean their room (for older kids)
    • Sweep floors
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    Physical activities to do before screen time

    • Read for 30 minutes
    • Play outside
    • Ask mom, dad, or yaya if they can help with anything
    • Paint, color, or write for 30 minutes
    • Play with other toys that are not gadgets
    • Build stuff (using Legos) for 30 minutes
    Print this out and hand to your preschooler so they will know the tasks they need to accomplish in order to earn some screen time.
    ILLUSTRATOR Cyrille Calderon

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    The goal of this checklist is not just to impose screen time limits — it will also teach your kids vital life skills they’ll need to master before starting school. Daily tasks like bathing or brushing their teeth on their own or getting dressed by themselves will help toddlers “gain self-confidence and an increased sense of responsibility,” says Rebecca de Guzman, an occupational therapist at the Child Development Center in ManilaMed.

    Plus, doing chores at a young age can help children build a lasting sense of mastery, responsibility, and self-reliance, according to research by Marty Rossman, a professor at the University of Minnesota. It teaches them independence and builds them up for success — the skills and values they learn through chores become useful when they become adults.

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    You can also create your own list using this printout!
    ILLUSTRATOR Cyrille Calderon

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    Lastly, they’ll need active play to grow up healthy. While screen time is unavoidable because the tech is readily available to all, it’s still important for kids to balance the use of gadgets with physical activities. And it’s up to the parents to achieve that balance. While these checklists are helpful, it will only work if the parents can instill discipline in their kids. You can set the guidelines but remember to also follow-through and make sure the kids are doing what you ask of them. Good luck!

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