How can I get my children to use devices less often?

Terra J.
Children are often compelled to explore as they are new to this world, I would suggest to guide them somewhere where they can freely explore and buy them manual toys, such as a plastic spade on the beach, or a magnifier in the park. Children are compelled to use such items as exploring enhances their awareness and knowledge and skills with a great deal of fun at the same time. However, you should also encourage your child to start exploring and inspire them to follow that direction as it also creates a stronger bond between the parent and child in addition to increasing levels of creativity. One more point would be, if you had noticed children mimic the behavior of the parent quite often or any person within their surroundings, specially if your child is under age 7 for within birth and growth to age 7, children constantly digest all forms of information that they are exposed to, so make sure the way you behave is the way you want your child to behave.
Enjoy a beautiful day.
Neutel P.
I don’t know how young your children are. My daughter is quite young and the only reason why she wants to use devices is because me and my husband do.
So in my case, I find that if we stop using devices as often, she will mirror our behaviour.
If your children are older, my suggestion would be to treat them as adults. My husband and I have agreed that on Saturdays we do not use devices, unless it’s absolutely mandatory.
You can schedule a day of the week, or time of day where no one at home uses devices.
Sulani Q.
Do activities with them – that they’re actually interested in. Coming up with projects like making a comic book, redecorating their room, or how to get better at a hobby they’re passionate about can make it really easy to inspire them. I bring out paints and say, let’s make something for your room and rarely have argument.
Philipp B.
I wish I knew. How to get them outside, engaged in sport and nature? I limit screen time to 1 hour a day and that included their phone. So far they comply
Joaquim T.
On iPhones, there is a function in the settings called screen time. You can use this to limit how much time they are on their phone. Another way is to spend time with them playing board games or going out in nature. What do they love to do? Put down your phone and spend time with them doing whatever they’re into.
Emil Z.
If I want my kids to use their devices less often, then I realized I need to set the example first and use my device less often, or use my device only when it’s needed. My kids need to see me NOT using my device as a something to help me check out, mindless web surfing, and habitual pick up and checking favorite sites. And once I’m practicing healthier habits with my device, it’s easier to enforce healthy device habits for my kids.
Luke P.
How often do you use your devices? Kids don’t follow what you tell them to, they follow your example. They’re like your reflection in the mirror. Keep that in mind:)
Celeste N.
Find your child’s strength such as reading, art or music and engage them by finding things in hobbies that they would be excited to do
Damas C.
However long they do an activity like reading, drawing or playing sport, is how long they are allowed on electronics. E.g 20min reading 10min drawing and 1hr playing sport is 1hr 30min of screen time
Alison E.
Tell them they’re not allowed screen time. Screen time can be a privilege to be earned, rather than a right to be expected. The device is a distraction from some other issue. My kids have no issue not using their devices as long as I am interacting with them. Find some ways to include them in what you’re doing, so that they can be part of what is going on. Device entertainment really does pale in comparison to positive parental attention.
Hagen O.
We’ve employed a ticket system whereby they have to earn tickets to exchange for screen time up to a maximum of 2hrs per day (exceptions at the weekend when we might watch movies as a family, for example). They earn tickets by doing chores in addition to the ones we expect them to do daily, such as putting their laundry away. We also have a morning and after school routine which they must complete before they can have any screen time 😊
Henriette U.
Create reasons for them to not be on their phones- such as genuinely good family time, or something they would like to do as a reward. Some phones even have a screen time counter built in so you can see your usage. Perhaps you could have an incentive for the child with the least amount of time by a certain day each week. There is always an opening somewhere for deeper connection. This will help.
William W.
Encourage them to adopt hobbies. Make plans that are exciting and establish house rules that involve when they’re allowed to use their phones.
Alberte W.
Just say “no.” The best advice my sons preschool teacher gave me once was “let him get bored… he needs to learn what it feels like and how to keep himself busy, don’t plan activities for him. He will figure out a way to keep himself occupied and have fun.
But, he is allowed up to 1hr of screen time x day IF he’s done all his chores, he needs to “earn” screen time.
Milo Z.
You can offer them different activities that you know they’d have interest in. For example, for me, it was to workout more and read and research about the world.
Ehrhard R.
It depends on their ages. If younger give them so much time per day. This may sound rigid but don’t let them bring any devices into their bedroom. That maybe tough to enforce at first but it will pay off in the end. May give them a small reward if they comply and don’t make a fuss

Teens will be a challenge at first. No devices at dinner table or when eating out. Encourage them to converse instead. You will need to do this at first. Really listen. Show them your really interested in them and their opinions. You value their input

Mia Q.
Putting limits to a child is easier than to teenagers, more to adults. It should be a thumb rule at home to put down device during specific time of the day such as eating, family time, bath time, sleeping time. There should be consequences as well and this should be communicated to them and the importance and reason should be chunk down so they could absorb it properly. Not only parents, but everyone should also follow the thumb rule.

Further, if the child enjoys the company of the people around him/her, then, less use of device should be easier to implement. So always add fun make them feel love so that they won’t have to be dependent on their devices

Adosindo S.
Me, being a child that wasn’t forced to only play on my phone/any device for a certain amount of time, used my phone a lot. I just had to come to the conclusion that I had to get rid of social media for a while because for some reason you automatically go on your phone the second you think you are bored. So any parent wanting to force their child to watch their digital use, its not going to work. They have to realize it on their own.
Herculano N.
I can get my kids to use devices less when I start using them less. When I set the example of how to have fun and stay busy without the shows and games and social media and videos they will follow. I hope. Lol. I also like go be honest with them as to why I ration it. Why I don’t want them using it all the time. I want them to recognize when their behavior is altered because of screen time or specific app. Phones are a wonderful device. That helps people every day all day everywhere. The access to instant entertainment is addictive. Discipline is hard. I have been simply not had any for the year if not longer. My anxiety and depression just took over and I laid down. I have far too much going for me in my family to lay down any longer. But it’s hard. Even baby steps. And this app and this phone is helping me take each of those steps so technology is not the evil. I pray to the Lord that addictions and selfishness don’t cloud our daily lives.
Amanda Y.
You can try using screen time . This is where you can control the amount of time you children are spreading on the devices .
Magarete E.
You should start a reading habit on them. I have a daughter, and since she was 4 yo I used to buy her books, let her to read while I was working and after work I would ask her about her reading. At first she hated it and used to read because I made her; but now that she is 9 yo, she reads a book a week because she likes it. She is always at the library in her own. You should try that. It makes them smart.
Kristian E.
Tell them they have X hours of device use every week/day. They can choose how to manage those hours accordingly, or exchange something (finishing homework, playing outdoors) for extra time.
Lloyd J.
Great question! I myself am I 14yr old boy so my answer might give are you a perspective that is similar to your children’s. I have always tried to stay off electronics when I can but, being a highschooler, a lot of my social life is on my phone. It is not always that I/ a kid needs to be on their phone/social media but they are on it because if they were not on it they would feel too isolated from their peers. But to get to your question, it depends on your situation. If you want your kids to be less on social media, You might want to encourage them to be with their friends in person. From my experience, social media just substitute hanging out with friends in real life. Depending on your child’s life and how they like to hang out you might want to encourage them to be with their friends in person. From my experience, social media just substitute hanging out with friends in real life. Depending on your child’s life and what they like to do, getting them to hang out with their friends in person could be easy or hard. I love hanging out with my friends in person and would definitely choose being with them in person over talking to them online but others might not feel the same. No Matter what specific problem you have with you and your child and their phone, I must say that most things that come out of the Phone tend to be either substitutes for social interactions in real life or substitutes, for a lack of a better term, for fun in real life. So, without making your child feel isolated or unhappy, which might be hard if they’re a teenager, if I were parenting myself I would Give myself more options to go out and be with my friends in person. I would talk more but there is a word limit. – Jeremy from Cambridge MA
Florence Y.
Do things with them outside. Kids follow by example. Teach them how to play hopscotch. Show them how to fly a kite. Learn how to double dutch.
Evan P.
Two things: create rules and develop substitutive activities. Rules like only one hour a day, at one time, or only Fridays, never in the dinner. On the other hand, you have to create plans and activities for them. Go for a walk, play sports with them, involve them in daily choirs, play games in dinner, seat and paint with them, build lego, go to the movie theater, plant something and involve them in the planting and care of the plant, take them to museums for children, take them to visit grandparents or aunts or cousins, make a customs party, make a parade, make with the a gallery of pictures taken by them, build something etc.
Anton C.
A couple of ways… Express your feelings strongly using "I". "When I see the iPad being used all the time, it makes me feel upset." Avoid accusing your children when you're asking them to stop doing something. You can also offer them a choice, but make sure not to bribe, command or threaten them.
Ethan F.
I give my daughter incentives to make “better” choices. Like she gets a marble when she chooses to read a book instead of watching a movie or for not fussing when I turn the movie off. After she fills her jar with marbles she moves up her reward chart and gets a prize. Also I’ve conditioned her now that she knows we don’t watch movies anymore at home after school and that it’s only for the weekend after I’ve told her enough that that’s the new house rule. She doesn’t even ask anymore.
Laszlo U.
That is the $64,000 question and I can only think of good ways to get them engaged in doing something more interesting or caught up in an Aha moment or day like taking them on an exciting camping adventure or a mind enlarging experience such as visiting a hands on science museum or some other engrossing activity where their devices will be completely forgotten for that particular day or time and build on those experiences
Ethan F.
Decrease time, decrease access, delete old apps and limit new ones. Lead by example and stay off your phone as much as possible
Alan P.
Introduce your child to the joy of reading by getting them books of their interest. Maybe at first you could spend some time reading to them before bed time if they are small enough for that. Or you can even make it a family time event: shutting down all the devices and getting engaged in a story. It doesn’t have to be fiction, it can be any topic of mutual interest. I suggest reading for the reason that engaging with devices is the pursuit of content and reading gives much more meaningful and structured content and can sarisfy that desire more fully and usefully
Va Se I.
5 in the evening is the cut off for my household using devices. We have exceptions with homework use or family movie night, but our general routine is no devices after 5. It was very trying in the beginning, some days it’s easier to just turn the tv on and stare. It has been well worth the struggle though. We sleep better and our family has bonded more spending time together.
C Lian O.
I have made clear rules about where we use devices. Not in bedrooms or cars only in living room between these hours and not for an hour before bedtime. I have to follow the rules too.
Carter Z.
Set up a screen time restriction on their devices. Also, maybe gradually coax them into lowering the amount of time they use them by having dinner earlier and longer, etc?
Marion U.
i think a good way to get your children to use devices less is to show them other things they can do. Color, build a fort, play a game. or even reading a good book. Just try to think of ways to keep them happy without their device and it’s a win win
Jack Z.
giving them other options of activities. anything outdoors, or even indoors. hiking, biking, park, pool, neighborhood scavenger hunt, etc. board games for inside, crafts, art.
Charlene R.
Spend time with them. And put your own phone down. 😉 Read, go for walks, make up adventures like catching insects or building cardboard box forts. If you don’t want them using devices often, limit their access and sometimes use their game/watch time on a device as an opportunity to spend time with them. Play their games with them, watch their shows with them. Talk about it. They will likely begin to treasure the time not because it’s a screen, but because of the bonding. Also they will learn from you about self discipline, how to process and converse about their entertainment and how to be present with others. Even screen time can be a positive thing if a parent is purposeful in leading their child.
Manass S S.
Maybe something simple like a reward system? Such as their favorite dessert after dinner if they’ve stayed off devices for a certain period of time until dinner.
But you could also do bigger rewards.
For example, if they leave their devices alone for X-amount of time, they get a sticker. And say, 50 or 100 stickers gets them something big. Make them work for it 🙂 Think theme parks or beach trips etc.
Or you could also get a little mean, since disciplined children become disciplined people. Take away devices for a few hours. My own mother did this and us kids were forced to actually spend time with each other.
Bust out the forgotten board games and plan more “together time” for the whole family. Spending time with those you love = happiness. It’s a win win.
Have a set schedule of sorts?
No devices until morning routines are done, or homework is done, or chores etc.
Think of this app. Routine is good and habits can be formed.
And remember, be a good example 😜
I wish you luck.
Mind you, I don’t have kids 😂
You could always hide the chargers and wait for the tears 🙊😂
Jeannine I.
Set a time limit for them to use their devices and stick to it. Spend quality time with them and engage in conversations. Physical activities that they enjoy will also get them away from their devices and make them healthier at the same time.
Emil B.
Engaging with your child through an activity, will help them use their devices less often. An activity that is fun, yet allows for learning is the best choice. Playing board games or working a puzzle will be a great solution. During this time the child will feel more relaxed and open to conversation about what they are doing and how things are in their world.
Tammy Z.
This is a very important question. Before I became a mother I thought I would never leave my child with tv or devices but I must admit that I sometimes do. I think that if we sit together with them when they’re on iPad or watch tv it’s ok. It could be a nice quality time to have together. The risk as I see is when we use that time to disappear into our own screens. I try to be present with my child as much as I possibly can. Sit on the floor and play and talk. But in the time we live in I believe it’s almost impossible to avoid. As everything else as long as we are present and around as they use their devices it’s better. And I think there should be an 18 year limit for all social media. I honestly hope they have all disappeared by the time my 3 year old turn 18. But I think just asking this question tells me you are in the right direction. Good luck, and we are all human. Namaste, Jeanette
Oscar J.
By teaching by example. Set a disconnect and unplug time for the whole family. E.g. at meals no one can have the phone, do activities with them than do not require a phone to force them to spend time without it
Teobaldo Z.
Engage with them, do something with them that will allow them to connect with you and the real world around and that would really bring a sense of joy, learning, confidence, connection. Can be a sport
Lutz Z.
The younger the generation the worse it will get. Kids are always using technology and depending on it. However if you give them something to do it might help. For example get them involved in a club or sports. You can always turn off the WiFi . Make it a challenge. Whoever uses the least data and stays off their phone will get a reward of some type. Make it fun for them and you. I hope this helps a little bit . Have a nice day.
Rosemary F.
Be more willing to do activities that don’t involve devices more often. It’ll give the kids a balance and make them more aware of the fun they can have away from their devices.
Dennis P.
We use a points system. They do chores and tasks around the house to gain points. The points go towards technology. They can earn up to 3 hours a week for technology. That has worked for us! Set limits but let them have a little freedom too. Balance.
Violet F.
I don’t have children so can’t speak from experience. However, if I did I feel like giving them an alternative to electronics would be the easiest solution. Sub board games or even better outdoor games for video games. Replace iPhones with books. Go on adventures when they’re bored etc. keep the mind busy.
Aubrey E.
You could set up a work and reward chart. They get designated time on devices when they complete a task. You can control then how much time they spend.
El Onore S.
Spend more time with your kids and not with your devices, because kids will eventually become us, so better to work on our own habits more than concrete on child behavior.
Hunter F.
Don’t just take their phones away, inspire them to do something that doesn’t use phones that they enjoy, (so they’ll want to do it again) but trust me. If you just steal a phone away from someone, that someone will not be happy. If it were me, well, I’d want revenge.
Sherry X.
If you can believe this, I’m only twelve myself, but don’t deter away from my advice. But I decided I needed to change the way I was living, so I downloaded this app. I read the article about how I need to measure my phone usage and delete useless apps, then I went out and did it. After moving and re-organizing my phone’s apps I am using my phone less that before. I also recommend, if your children have Apple devices, to set the screen time feature and let them choose the apps they think are most important, then make the final call yourself.
Esther J.
I have set up contracts with each of my children where we agree on total hours spent on devices everyday, routine at home (no device at the table, no device while watching TV, leave devices in basket at end of night in common place – this includes adults too). They have to come up with the contract and you get to agree/ change some (not all) elements.
Hope this helps
Alexandre Z.
Make a rule that they aren’t allowed to use them without asking your first and if they do then limit their time. You could also make a schedule, for example you are allowed use devices from 5-6 every night only, or for 45 minutes after you finish a chore
Dragan C.
you can take away there phones at night and you need to set up a screen time app on their phones and if that does not work then you need to take them camping or just take them away from time to time

Inaya Q.
If it’s an iPhone you restrict their access t only certain times like our parents did when it came to watching tv. Do some family games instead where you will connect on a different level.
Rachel E.
Keep them busy with other activities, funny and engaging ones, like bathing/cleaning the family pets, including their dishes and beds.
Katherine W.
It can often depend on the level of awareness that the child has about the devices affect on them. My own experience is with my ADHD brother who externally becomes agitated and often loses valuable sleep due to his need for the connection. The realization came to me when I decided that my own behavior was unlike myself and that I was using it as a feel good stimulator. In response to this I created a box to charge my devices in and have a limit of time to use it every day. Also I use lock out app that I find appealing to me so I do not rebel against my methods. No matter how effective a method for a long term solution one needs a to make the appealingness approach the purpose of the exercise.
L Sia Z.
By spending more time with your children by replacing the time they have with their devices with card/board games. Or go to museums or any kind of location.
Antonina S.
Don’t let them have unlimited access to it.
Timed their time on electronics.
Don’t introduce electronics until the age of 3 years old. Their brains will grow very addicted to it. Using electronics at an early age is showing to interfere with other important aspects of her development – motor and social skills and the development of ADHD symptoms.
Susan F.
Trust in your children to take care of their device use themselves. Even though they may initially use it a lot, they have a conscience that will eventually tell them that enough is enough. Trying to limit the use of the device shows your kids that it is of high value making them just want to use it more. When you finally give it to them they will find it hard to put it down because they don’t know when they’ll be able to use it again. Just trust your children and only reprimand them if the use is extreme.
Cindy J.
Have a spot where the have to place their devices and only let them use them during a certain time. Find things to do with your kids. Board games are always a great alternative ☺️
Georgia E.
Besides putting house rules in place, apple products allow you to restrict what apps you can use during certain times and durations with the screen time app. I’m not sure about android but I’m sure there’s something similar. There are also apps like freedom and Flipd that you can install to put further restrictions on apps and websites.
Djalma Q.
Tell them that you are going out on a walk everyday from now on, and say you can’t bring any devices, this way you can get them off the devices for a while and keep fit. Also, they may enjoy it so much that they might want to do it instead of going on the devices! Another thing you can do is schedule a ‘device free’ time or make a ‘device free’ zone. In this time/zone, you have to do something else instead of being on the devices. You could do drawing or playing, going outside – the possibilities are endless. You could make this last for however long you want. To make it fun, make the ‘device-free’ zone really colourful and creative, e.g., make a den with loads of comfy cushions, blankets and pillows! Good luck to you💖
Elo Se P.
If they have Apple devices there is a screen time setting so you can make a “downtime” where no apps except calling and texting are available. But the most important part of the downtime is to have an activity planned so they don’t get bored.
Dirque E.
Same problem in my family! Love to hear about ideas…. young audults are less interested in my thoughts on the subject!
Keith O.
You first have to use devices less yourself. Second, it’s easier to break and reset the device cycle than cutting out part of the time, for example: you go on vacation with the kids and purposefully leave the devices at home, and when you return the habit can either be reset to its original timeframe or you can set limits (i.e. one hour per day in the evening), and use the other time to do activities. Even if you don’t break the cycle, though, and only cut back the time, the most important thing is to replace the electronic time with something else the child values.
Heidi E.
1) Set goals. Reward them when they manage to reach them.

2) Start small. Have a no device zone or when doing certain activities e.g at the dining table.

3) Invite them to do alternative activities to fill their time and curiosity.

Barry J.
Childrens do what they see. If adults around them are always using phones, they will want to use these devices. Begin to read physical books and invite them to read and discover this pleasure.
Gordon Z.
Create an environment and household where devices aren’t seen as an every day item. It’s a special treat. Engage them. Give them clear rules and rewards. Show them options of how to spend their time. If you say no to a device mean it. Have conversations with them WHY they shouldn’t use devices
Dolores O.
Children learn from observation, not from what people told them to do. The best way to teach a child is by doing it yourself. Be an example, no need to say anything, and you’ll see how amazing children learn. And the best is result will show up in few weeks time if you do it with integrity.
Marjorie J.
I don’t have kids myself, but I feel like engaging them in more social activities that you all can do together is a good place to start.
Benjamin Z.
Make a plan with your children that only certain time he could use the device. He or she has to accept some punishment if he or she breaks the rule.
Erkan O.
It’s not about making them use the devices less often. It’s about making them so productive things on those devices. It’s one thing to take away something. It’s another to make your child do something that will benefit them on that device like learning something new or developing new skills.
Joshua W.
Honestly what I did was bought actual toys for them to play with. Once I took tablets and TVs away they had no choice but to play with their toys 🤗
Flavie Y.
Have certain evenings or block of hours where your family – the entire family – puts down all electronics and engages in something fun together- dinner in the park, card games, charades, singing together.
Isaiah P.
I can show them the importance of technology devices and showing my kids how they can take advantage of technology for the future betterment. Their dreams and aspirations should target the needs and also acts as source of learning.
Sander U.
Take them away for certain portions of the day and give them something instead like go play outside, read this book, plant this plant, build this small project, draw and color a picture.
Shane J.
Hello, I think By hAving multiple activities and hobbies we have less time to use devices and we live a healthy lifestyle