How to Limit Kids Screen Time the Easy Way

How are the school holidays going?  Are you keen for everyone to get back into a routine, or are you busy enjoying the last couple of weeks of freedom together?  Either way, back to school is coming very fast which probably means re-establishing early nights, getting back to structure and reinforcing some rules, if you're anything like everyone I know.

However long the kids have had off, those precious weeks of fun together probably meant lots of downtime, late wake ups and lazy mornings.  Time to kiss goodbye to all of those!  It's back to early bedtimes, alarm clocks and regimented morning routines to get everyone out the door.

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And let's not even think about after school and evenings!  When you've spent all these weeks not caring about time and (almost) ignoring the idea of bedtime, getting back into a pm groove is going to be tough!  But homework, proper food, baths and bed are going to be essential and, for a lot of kids, that means cutting way back on screen time.

Yikes, let's take a moment.  Tell me, what's the screen battle like in your home?

If your kids are straight on their iPads in the morning, playing games during the day, and watching screens all evening it's time to start setting some limits before school starts.

And you don't need me to tell you that managing screens can cause such a huge conflict in the home.  After a summer with lots of screen time, you could have a real battle on your hands this September.

A Solution

TechDen is an app + a smart charging station that helps families manage screen time.  By combining an app that parents can use to manage kids screen time with a physical unit that charges and stores children's phones and tablets, TechDen seeks to both manage screen time and make life easier for busy parents.

By storing devices in The Den, they become physically unavailable to kids, which helps to establish a new mindset and eliminates conflict.  This 'out of sight, out of mind' approach helps to create healthy digital habits, establish clear boundaries, and creates a positive, balanced attitude towards technology.  After all these things were invented both to assist and entertain us, not to take over our lives!

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Healthy Digital Habits

Just like teaching our kids healthy food habits, we need to help them learn healthy tech habits too.  That starts, of course, with not being on your phone 24/7 yourself, and not reaching for it every time it beeps or buzzes.  But setting limits on Kindle or iPad use can be harder.

Created by real parents who, just like you, want their kids to access the world of digital technology and all its benefits, but to also establish healthy digital habits for life.  Not by restricting and rule making, threatening to confiscate screens altogether or to turn the Wifi off, but by giving children the tools to learn how to manage their devices themselves.

Start by using The Den for less drama while bringing balance back.

Grab yourself a TechDen now and start getting kids into healthy screen time habits now.  You can sit down and have a chat about when and how often to use devices now and start setting allowable times now.  Here's how it works:

With The Den, kids can learn how to self-monitor their screen time, creating a healthy balance between technology and the real world.  An added benefit is that locking devices away during bedtime can help to remove the risk of cyber bullying, which is at its peak at night time.

Night Time (and Morning) Benefits

Research shows that removing devices from bedrooms helps kids sleep better.  This helps boost children's alertness and focus the next day, as well as improving mood and happiness.  With devices in The Den, kids get a full night's sleep and wake up refreshed and ready for the day.

TechDen found that 7 in 10 kids sleep with a device in their bedroom, and a third wake up during the night to check their phone.  We all know that needs to change!

Pro tip: Start now by moving bedtime back by 5 minutes every day or two and you'll have the kids back at a reasonable bedtime before school starts.

Related post: How to Introduce a Better Bedtime Routine

Plus the next morning everyone knows where their devices are, and that they're fully charged and ready to go.  No need to run around searching for phones and tablets, frantically charging while trying to make breakfast, find book bags and all the rest of it!  Anything that saves time in the mad morning rush sounds good to me!

With TechDen everyone knows where their devices live and that they are fully charged, ready for the day ahead.  Take a look:

Family Time

Limiting screen time, and encouraging children to use it for the things they most enjoy, you'll free up time for important things like homework and sports, as well as plenty of fun family time.  (Anyone else getting the rainy afternoon board games lined up already?)

Your new term time routine isn't just about school and homework.

Family activities, days out and fun don't need to stop just because the summer holidays have come to an end and school and clubs have begun.  Get intentional with your weekly schedule and factor in family time indoors and outdoors throughout your week to make the most of those summer connections.

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Get Outdoors

Doctors now recommend at least 120 minutes spent outdoors every week.

I love the TechDen motto: devices inside get kids outside.  Even more important in the autumn months as the weather changes and evenings get darker.

Set after school screen time sessions for your kids devices by all means, but try to get outdoors for a bit first.  Whether you walk home from school, via the woods or the playground to let off some steam, or set out some activities (and snacks) in the garden for when they get home, that outdoor time is all important.

And make sure to top up their Vitamin N at the weekend by planning some great days out at your local nature reserve, forest, beach or park.  Go to a pick your own farm to gather apples, pears and plums; play in the leaves or visit the woods at dusk to spot wildlife; fly kites; jump in muddy puddles or play Pooh sticks.

Related post: Free Family Days Out this Autumn

There are so many wonderful things to do in autumn - a great day out could even be a reward for all those Den points your kids are going to earn this term.

Then have some more weekend screen time limits set up so they can enjoy some down time (and earn more points) too.

Autumn is also the ideal time to create treasure hunts for natural objects like acorns, conkers, bark and leaves.  Then bring some home to create a nature table or collage.  Or teach older kids some photography skills using all those glorious rich colours.

Related post: How to Raise Happy Kids: Get Outside

How TechDen Helps

TechDen is the first internet-connected solution that helps parents manage screen time while securely storing and charging phones and tablets.  Storing devices in The Den helps to keep them out of sight and out of mind, while limiting distractions such as notifications and text messages.

By setting limits, encouraging them with rewards, and making The Den just another part of your family's routines, conflict is reduced or even avoided altogether.  Research shows that parental rules such as 2 minute warnings can actually make conflict worse, whereas time limits on the device itself are more effective and less problematic.

Involving children in creating their own boundaries, by setting the schedule, gives them an emotional buy-in meaning they are personally invested, and therefore naturally develop healthy habits that become the norm.  Screen time is making kids irritable and moody.  Let's change that.

The combination of hardware and software means parents can create schedules to remotely lock and unlock the doors of The Den, set limits for device usage and create schedules for their kids.  When screen time is over, devices are simply stored, charged and locked in The Den.

Where to Buy

In the UK, TechDen is available online and in select John Lewis stores, RRP £149.

In the US, buy from, RRP $179.

More Information

You can find more information on the TechDen website or on social media:

Instagram   Facebook   Twitter

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