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How to change your kids electronic habit

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I said in a previous post how electronics, such as a tablet is beneficial, which it is, but not all the time. My girls, ages 4 (almost 5) and 2, have relied on their tablets for everything. They think they need them at the dinner table while they eat, which they don’t. They end up paying more attention to their tablets rather than there food that is getting cold. They think they need them at bed time, which they don’t. It’s not healthy for them to have a screen in their face while in the dark, and not to mention, they should learn to sleep without relying on anything, especially electronics.

My girls have gotten into the habit of having the TV and their tablets on at the same time which we all know is not necessary. My step daughter even takes her tablet into the bathroom with her while she uses the toilet. This really grosses me out. lol
Kids need to exercise their imagination without their tablets. We need to spend time with them, interacting with them, playing with them. I know it’s easier to just give them and electronic and let that entertain them whenever they want, but it’s not healthy.
It’s gotten to the point where both my girls have to have the TV on at least when they go to bed, which wouldn’t be so bad, but 85% of the time, my step daughter doesn’t go to sleep. She will wake us up after midnight when the movie ended, asking for another one. My daughter will throw a fit if I put her in her room with no TV on.
I don’t want my kids to rely on these kinds of things to go to bed when 85% of the time, they are up all night because of it anyways. 
As much as my girls are going to hate it, I’m cutting electronic time way back, which means, no tablets while at the dinner table, in the bathroom or at bedtime. We’ve already changed the whole movie at bedtime ordeal. They get one movie at bedtime and if they are still awake when that movie ends, then they sleep with just a nightlight, which they hate, but they end up giving it up and going to sleep after about 10-15 minutes anyways.
I’ve been pushing them to play more, read books more, and just use good old fashioned imagination more instead of giving them their tablets when they are bored. Yes, they whine and cry over not getting their tablets when they want, but they get over it. It’s not going to kill them to do something physically interactive. They have gotten really lazy being on their tablets for most of the day. My step daughter even asked me to get up and throw her fruit snacks wrapper in the trash for her because she’s too lazy to get up and look away from her tablet for 10 seconds that it takes to get up and throw it away, or she’ll just leave her trash on the floor…
This about it… if they were active during the day, come bedtime, they would actually be tired and not wired from watching their tablets all day.
Here are some things that have really helped with this less electronics process.

Colorwonder Coloring Books
It doesn’t necessarily have to be colorwonder, you can get regular coloring books and crayons. I get these because I prefer that my 2 year old not color on anything but her coloring books and she does, but you can’t even tell with colorwonder. Lol. They get to express their creativity when they do arts and crafts.

Building Blocks
They love these and it keeps them entertained for a long while. They build castles, towers and houses for their baby dolls. Building blocks helps build their motor skills, mental stimulation, and improves creativity.

Play Kitchen
Both of them will play with their play kitchen for hours. A play kitchen helps build self-confidence in their imagination. It also teaches responsibility. They know that people must eat, especially babies, so they make food for their babies. It makes them want to help in a real kitchen. It also teaches them the colors of different kinds of food.

Going for walk
Going for walks makes them feel good. The exercise makes them calmer and happier and it improves their concentration. It promotes independence and freedom. They can choose to stop along the way and look at something which they can’t do in a car. This is also a good way for them to learn about road safety as well as nature.

Reading Books

There are many important benefits of reading!! Sitting down with a book provides children with a time for quiet and calmness in their busy lives. Books can stimulate imagination and play. Reading provides more opportunities for parents to bond with their children. Picture books helps readers to develop an appreciation for art and writing. Listening to stories assists in the development of  literacy skills and language development. Books and stories fill a child’s mind with knowledge.

Glow in the dark stars
Kids love these things. It’ll spark their interest in astrology. These are better to have at bedtime instead of the TV. I’m not saying It’ll always help them fall asleep, but it’ll provide you with enough distraction time to sneak out of their room before they notice and start screaming about them not having their tablets. Lol.

Kids rely too much on electronics now a days. I never had electronics, like tablets, at their age. I played outside, in the dirt and with worms. Kids are becoming so sensitive and too afraid because parents don’t encourage physical activities as much anymore. Just because your kids are entertained and happy playing with electronics 24/7, doesn’t mean you are doing them any good.
Lets bring back the Mud Pies!!!

DreaWedding (1)
Here are some random Negative effects that electronics have on young kids.

  • During the child’s first years, their brains develop rapidly, and very young children learn best by interacting with people, not screens. Being head down and having no eye contact with people might be harmful to their brain development.

  • Screens distract one or two year olds from interacting with parents, siblings and other kids. Dan Siegel of Mindful Awareness Research Center thinks this may impede language, social and emotional development. It may affect children’s development of insights, empathy, ways of knowing themselves, and connecting with relationships.
  • Also, toddlers need to be active physically. They should be actively exploring their environment, and not sedentary, getting almost all of stimulations from screen, and not building their bodies through physical play.
  • Tablets and smart phones take time away from other activities. Older children should have more time with playing outdoors, reading, engaging in hobbies, or using their imagination with free play.
  • Children who sleep near a “small screen” (typically a smartphone) average 20.6 fewer minutes of sleep every night. This may be caused by the high levels of blue light emitted by the screens which depletes melatonin, a hormone linked to circadian rhythm. The extra screen time at night are resetting their bodies’ clocks in a way that makes it difficult for them to sleep.



12 thoughts on “How to change your kids electronic habit

  1. I really want to change these habits once we move by not having a tv in the playroom. There is so much more to do that is better for learning and development. I'm not against any screen time, but it should be limited.

  2. Something we have done was to place a timer on their tablets, no longer then two total hours a day. The only applications on their devices are ABC Mouse and other educating equivalents (NO You Tube kids).

    Devices are kept out of their reach at bed time and meal time as well. The only times that these rules may be overlooked is when one is stuck at home sick, or when we travel.

    Way to take charge and get active with the tots!

  3. Breaking a habit like this is tough, so good for you! I think they're an excellent set of alternatives too. particularly getting outside. There's almost nothing a good mud pie can't fix 🙂

    Sarah @

  4. So true! I hope the process continues to get easier for you. It's not easy, but totally doable. It's for your children's benefit in the end.

  5. My twin boys love their tablets but would rather play outside, for this I am lucky! Great post. This a reminder to limit time on electronics!

  6. These are great tips, my two year old does that too where she wants the ipad on, the tv on and her kindle on, and i am like you cant watch all three at the same time but she whines when you switch one off lolll,

  7. My kids love all of these! my oldest who is five loves his ipad but If it's not charged or I refuse to give it to him, he always reads a book while I take care of little brother.

  8. We don’t have TVs in our bedrooms anymore. That has drastically reduced our screen time and improved our quality time as a family. Simple fix with great results!

  9. We have recently scaled back on Screen time as well. We also bought the kids a mini trampoline, so if screen time is absolutely necessary they can jump on it AS they watch. It has helped a lot!

  10. Great suggestions on limiting screen time, especially with your younger ones. I was very strict when my son was little, we rarely ever had the tv on but always had music going 🙂 Now that he is 10 he pretty well self regulates screen time with little issue.

  11. I love all the alternatives you gave! There really are so many great options parents can give their little ones.

  12. man, I know ALL this but seeing written has reaffirmed my desire to end…err limit screentime for my kids. Thanks!

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