Is it possible to create a routine around screens?
Instead of thinking of screen time as a right or reward, think of it as a short activity that gets built into your little’s routine--be that a daily routine or a weekly routine!
For example, you may choose to give your toddler one 30 minute TV show after their afternoon snack. That's it--that’s the routine! Then your little one knows that this is the ONLY time in the day they can watch the show, just like there are times of day where they play with puzzles, read books, take baths, or go outside on a walk.
Or maybe screens are only for weekends in your family. When Saturday comes, that’s part of the routine. Your little one can trust that’s what happens on Saturday mornings, rather than weekdays.
When screen time is offered on a schedule, it becomes a predictable option in the day or week, just like other activities. More predictability means LESS meltdowns around it. Your child knows what's coming next, and they know the boundaries.
When screens are a reward, it’s harder to set limits around when, how long, and why they are watching screen. This makes screen time more confusing and can lead to more tantrums when it's time to turn the show off.
We are big believers that devices (phones, tablets, computers, TVs, etc.) are adult tools, not children's toys, therefore, YOU as the adult set the boundaries for your littles! They need your help to learn how and how not to use devices.