How To Reduce Screen Time: Tips To Increase Family Time

In today's digital age, managing screen time has become a challenge for so many families. From endless scrolling to binge-watching, screens have started to dominate our daily lives. Unfortunately, this is often at the expense of quality family time and, let's face it, our own personal well-being.

But fear not! We're here to help. With a few of our simple strategies, you can take back the reins and create healthier habits for you and your loved ones. So, if you're ready to set down the devices and reconnect with your family, let's go!

5 Ways To Manage Screen Time

1. Designate screen-free zones in your home

One of the easiest ways to reduce your screen time is to demarcate phone-free zones within your home. For example, you can set a rule that phones aren't allowed in the dining room or bedrooms - particularly at night.

Although it may be a little strange to climb into bed and reach for your phone only to realize it isn't there, these small changes are super easy to get used to. You just need to give it a little time! It's also incredibly important for children to regulate their sleep patterns without relying on their phones to help them fall asleep.

If you do need your phone at night for any reason, another good option is to move all of the apps you want to avoid off your home screen. Instead, only keep the necessary ones, such as your alarm app.

2. Set screen-free times or screen limits

Have you heard of a little thing called screen time functions? Well, nowadays most phones have these handy functions that tell you how much time you've spent on your device. By checking how much screen time you or your kids are actually consuming every day, you can begin to set screen limits. Plus, you'll also get a visual representation of how well you're doing when you begin to cut down!

Additionally, establishing designated screen-free times during the day, like during meals and before bedtime, allows for more focused family time and promotes much healthier daily routines! Perhaps the easiest way to start this journey is to eliminate phones when you're sitting at the kitchen table.

3. Schedule outdoor activities

Planning regular outdoor activities will give you and your family a chance for physical exercise and fresh air. It also encourages natural exploration which is essential for little minds to grow and develop.

Whether it's a nature walk, a trip to the playground, or even a planned family hike, outdoor time motivates active playtime and fosters a stronger connection with the world. In turn, this reduces the reliance on electronic devices for entertainment and emotional regulation.

4. Encourage hobbies and interests

Encouraging your family members to pursue their hobbies and interests outside of their screens can help spark their creativity, promote personal growth, and (perhaps most importantly for kids) improve their self-expression.

If your child loves playing games on their devices, why not encourage them to try board games instead? Board games have plenty of psychological benefits, too, so it's a win-win!

If these hobbies are something the whole family enjoys, you could even dedicate a shared space in your home to spending time together as a family. For example, you could decorate your family room with board game tables and storage shelves like The Eolian.

5. Plan family board game nights

Introducing a regular family board game night is a great way to reset and spend some time away from your screens. Instead, you can spend that quality time with one another!

Of course, setting up a space dedicated to board games can take up a lot of room in your home, but you shouldn't let that stop you from using this method to reduce your screen time. Rather, you could opt for a multi-functional dining table that can go from dinner time to game night in a matter of seconds!

Without the hassle of setting up your playing space every time, you can implement this easy way of reconnecting with one another on a regular basis. Whether you do it nightly, weekly, or monthly is up to you - but no matter when you want to organize a family game night, you'll be prepared.

The Impact Of Too Much Screen Time

Picture this: You're sitting around the dining table and enjoying a meal with your family. But it's completely silent because your spouse and the kids are all scrolling through their phones.

Sound familiar? Then you aren't alone. However, it's crucial to know just how detrimental this can be to the overarching family dynamics at home.

According to a 2023 study, excessive screen time can affect your child's ability to focus and perform well academically. Similarly, screens can disrupt the natural flow of communication and the interactions between children and parents.

Perhaps one of the most concerning impacts of excessive screen time, though, is its impact on your child's emotional and mental health. Relying heavily (or solely) on screens for interaction and entertainment can lead to issues like sleep disturbances, anxiety, and even depression.

Ways to increase family time


What activities are considered screen time?

"Screen time" usually refers to any activity that involves looking at electronic devices - from endless scrolling on social media apps to watching TV or playing video games. While some screen time can be beneficial for kids and adults, too much screen time can cause a disconnect between you and the real world.

Of course, the dreaded screen can't always be avoided. For example, many adults spend their time staring at a computer screen for work. But there are always cases where you can cut down on your usage of electronic devices (yes, that also means limiting how much time you spend on social media platforms!).

What is a healthy amount of screen time?

So, how much screen time is too much? Well, it depends! Usually, the average screen time that is "healthy" for every person can vary depending on factors like your age and lifestyle. Still, most experts recommend that parents limit screen time for their kids. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends setting usage limits that include:

  • Less than an hour of screen time for kids between two and five years old.

  • Don't allow screens during meals or an hour before bedtime (your kids should definitely not fall asleep with any media on).

  • Turn off any electronic devices if you're not using them.

  • Avoid using media to calm your child down.

Why do I need a board game table for my home?

We know what you're thinking: Is a board game table worth it? Absolutely.

A board game table like The Dresden is the perfect way to unplug and steer your kids away from screens when they're bored. Don't believe us? Just check out these reviews.

Not only do these tables promote more social interaction among the family, but they also encourage seeking out offline entertainment and boost cognitive ability (particularly in younger children). Plus, let's face it: board games are just plain fun!

Just be sure to take your time picking out the perfect board game table for your home

Final Thoughts

Finding the right balance between screen time and offline activities is essential for maintaining healthy family dynamics. Although our devices have become part of our daily lives, everyone needs a break from social media and the internet, right?

Well, now that you have the tools to start reducing screen time, you'll be able to be present and reconnect with your family. It's time to swap screens for conversations, stop scrolling, and ditch the video games - start enjoying those good old-fashioned board game nights!