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20th Mar 2024

Here are five tips for reducing your child’s use of screens

Anna Martin


Screens can be useful in stressful situations

How many times have you been on a long car journey and your child starts fussing in the back – making it hard not to get frustrated – so you hand over your phone and suddenly things are calm again?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a bit of screen time – especially when you find yourself preoccupied with something that requires your full attention – it’s normal to be concerned about just how long your child spends staring at them.

If you’re looking to reduce the time spent on a phone or a tablet, here are some tips to get the process started.

Get outside

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A simple way to get your kids out of a screen is to take them out into the world, weather permitting because this is Ireland after all.

Go for a nature walk, grab a football, or get up on your bikes. The list is endless and maybe your child will find a new hobby in the process.


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Reading is a great way to spend time with your kids and it will help prepare them for school by not only developing the skills early but through the use of imagination and boosting concentration.

Enjoy some chill time reading together by cosying up on the couch or if your child is older, arrange to have a shared independent reading time each day, leading by example as you read your book.

Take inspiration from what they use their screens for

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It might sound counter-productive, but if your child is showing interest in a certain programme or character use this as a way to inspire them to take up a new hobby.

Maybe they like watching football? Ask them if they want to join your local club. Or if they like music ask them if they want to try out a class for an instrument of their choice.

You may see them take more time away from their screens as they try to practice their newfound hobby.

Try new things

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Don’t be afraid to make suggestions and see what peaks your kid’s interest even if it’s completely outside of the box.

And if they mention something they might want to try, maybe find camps and workshops for them to attend first that way there’s no pressure on them to commit long-term to something they don’t even know if they’ll like.

Not to mention that some hobbies can be quite expensive so if you’re going to invest it might be nice to have the reassurance that your child will stick to them.

Keep it simple

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You don’t have to go on massive adventures or spend hundreds of euros for a family day out just to get away from the TV or phone.

Board games, arts and crafts or just going for a walk are great ways to have your kid engage with the world around them and perhaps learn a new skill along the way.