• Find activities that children can do on their own as well as those that allow for parent-child interaction, such as puzzles and building blocks.
• Plan ahead and bring along toys, instead of an iPad, to keep your children engaged for long periods of time, such as when attending a wedding dinner.
• Arrange routine activities for the whole family. For example, family members can set aside time daily to go to the park or have a picnic on weekends.
• Once the schedule is set for children to have both physical and leisure activities, the need for screen time for both adults and children will naturally be reduced.
• If the child's grandparents are his caregivers, consider the activities the grandparents enjoy doing (such as going to the wet market) and suggest that the grandparents do these activities with the child. Take toys and books to the grandparents' residence for the child.
• If a domestic helper is the child's caregiver, set a routine for her and make it clear that the child is not allowed to watch TV. Offer alternatives or toys to the child, or ask the helper to take the child to a nearby playground every day.
• Information provided by parenting specialist Sarah Chua from Focus On The Family Singapore and Dr Yang Chien-Hui, senior lecturer at SIM University's School of Human Development and Social Services.