In today’s world, screen time has become a major topic of discussion for most parents. As adults, we also enjoy our screen time – but it’s important to find a balance & figure out how much is too much.
Whether your kids are young in elementary school or older in high school, we found some helpful tips that may help you set some guidelines. The following information is purely opinion-based & may or may not work in your household. Our goal is to help inform & provide some helpful tips along the way.
Check out what there is to know about screen time:
What to Know About Screen Time…
There are many growing concerns with the use of screen time, especially excessive screen time, in children.
For one, screen time can affect kids’ eyes and vision. It can cause nearsightedness, eye fatigue, and dry eyes.
“It also affects children’s circadian rhythm, therefore impacting sleep when used close to bedtime. The blue light on the screen can trick the brain into thinking it’s bright outside and is actually daytime. The content in the show or game can also wind a child up.”
Plus the biggest of them all – screen time is incredibly addictive!
Is Screen Time All Bad?
The reality is that these devices are part of our lives now for better or for worse.
“Kids can learn a lot of amazing things from shows and developmentally appropriate games. However, studies show that to reap these benefits, parents need to be watching the content with their child and talking about it with them. That is how kids will best internalize the messages we want them to get from the shows.”
Screen Time Tips for Parents
Decide How Much Screen Time You’re Okay With
When kids are younger than 18 months, the recommendation is none outside of video chats (face time). Between 18 & 24 months, parents can choose to introduce high-quality children’s programming to their child in small doses and watch it with them to help them engage properly.
Between the ages of 2 and 5, the recommended limit is now 1 hour a day of high-quality programs, and parents are encouraged to watch the programs with their child.
What do you think will work for your family?
Make Screen Time a Reward, Not An Automatic Entitlement
One of the biggest things that made a difference for most families is to change this “entitled” attitude around the TV. Make it something that your kids have to earn. TV time only happens when chores get done, meals get eaten, or they have completed some physical activity, etc. You decide what is important to you and then stick to it.
Know What You’re Kids Are Watching & Make Sure It’s Worth It
Only you can decide what you think is worth it for your family. If you’re only supposed to have 1 hour a day, how do you want them spending it? Watching other kids playing video games on YouTube? Or do you think learning some social skills is a better use of that time?
Some Other Helpful Tips
- Only allow educational YouTube Kids channels.
- Set up an art & crafts or a pretend play station.
- Limit screen time to weekends only.
- Replace screen time with outdoor time.
- Enroll your child in youth programs or sports.
- Let them be bored.
- Create “technology-free” zones.
- Talk to your kids about the dangers of too much screen time.
- Model healthy electronic use
Blog sources: rockingthecloth.com, seevanessacraft.com, verywellfamily.com, heart.org
*Please note: The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
If you’re looking to replace screen time with some physical activity, we have just the thing for you! Here at the NAC, we offer an array of youth activities & sports to keep your child busy this summer. We have youth programs classes, such as dance, gymnastics, Tae Kwon Do & kidfit. Plus, swim team, cheerleading & baseball leagues starting in the fall!
To learn more about youth programs at the club, fill out the form below!