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12 tips for getting your kids off their screens

Screen time is just a fact of life these days. But most of us have days when we’ve struggled to unglue them from their screens. Here are some tips from parents on getting them off their screens and into the real world. 

Tips to limit their time online

How much screen time is too much?

You’re the expert on your child – you’ll probably already know how much screen time is too much for them. Just try to get away with as much as you can manage. Lots of play and plenty of fresh air helps kids to grow up happy and healthy.

Keep an eye on them when they're online

1. Talk to them about what they watch

Talk to your child about using screens and what they watch. A change in their behaviour (e.g. being grumpy) can mean they’re distressed. Make sure they know they can speak to you or another adult if they’re worried about something they see on screen or social media.

2. Set parental controls

Many internet plans and apps will have parental controls so they won’t be exposed to inappropriate content from their device.

3. Don’t over share

Talk to them about sharing photos and information online, and how these can be changed or mis-used by other people. Before you upload any pictures of your child, ask for their permission. If in doubt, don’t upload!

4. Find out your school’s screen time policy

If your child is at school, find out if there is a screen time policy. That could help you limit the time online.

You can do it!

We hope that these tips for sneaking in ways to get them doing other things – like getting fresh air, helping you around the house and playing with you will get them off their screens. Good luck everyone – we’ve got your back!

From the parents

"My top tip would be that your kids don’t always have to be constantly entertained! They will find something to do that lets them use their imagination and creativity." – Kirsty

"I find screens make behaviour way worse than it should be! Having a variety of games you can play together can help." - Sarah

Advice and support on online safety

Our page on online safety has more information.

NSPCC

Advice and help in understanding online risks and how to keep children safe in the digital environment.
https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/ 

Childline

Childline offers advice and support to young people on a range of issues.
https://www.childline.org.uk/ 

UK Safer Internet Centre

Online safety tips, advice and resources to help children and young people stay safe online.
https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/ 

Thinkuknow

Advice on how to keep young people safe online.
https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/ 

ParentZone

Resources for families, to help them meet the challenges of the digital age.
https://parentzone.org.uk/parents 

Anti-Bullying Campaign Support Centre

Advice and support for a variety of bullying issues, including cyberbullying.
https://www.antibullyingpro.com/support-centre 

Get Safe Online

Advice on how to protect yourself, your computer and mobile from fraud, viruses and other online problems.
https://www.getsafeonline.org/ 

Internet Matters

Advice on helping children benefit from technology and the internet safely and smartly
https://www.internetmatters.org/

Advice on reporting harmful online content

CEOP

National Crime Agency’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection command offers advice and is a reporting hub if you have been a victim of sexual online abuse or if you are worried this is happening to someone you know.
https://www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/ 

Report Harmful Content

Offering advice on reporting routes of social media providers, to remove online harmful content
https://reportharmfulcontent.com/ 

Upstream

Advice to adults and communities in Scotland on preventing child sexual abuse.
https://www.stopitnow.org.uk/stop-it-now-scotland/upstream-online-resource/