Battles over what is the appropriate amount of screen time for kids is a regular occurrence these days. Young people are spending a troubling amount of time playing on smartphones, tablets, games consoles and other digital devices. Which can often come at a detriment to their education and/or physical and mental health.
Even us adults are guilty of using these devices more often than we should at times, but at least most of us know when it’s getting in the way of our other priorities. Children don’t have the same ability to manage their own time, which is why parents need to step in and monitor their screen time.
Knowing how much is too much is where the problem lies, so I have teamed up with a pre-prep school in Hampshire to offer parents some advice.
disclosure: this is a partnered post
Do What Works For You
First of all, don’t worry about what other parents are saying or doing – stop stressing about screen time! Your family is unique and the rules regarding digital devices in one household might not suit yours. Consider whether or not your child is getting enough physical exercise and partaking in other activities that stimulate them in different ways.
If your child completes their homework, eats their dinner and then spends an hour every evening riding their bike, walking the dog or just playing outside, you might not mind some screen time for kids to relax and unwind. However, if your child rarely moves from their gaming spot, then perhaps they’ve reached the too much mark.
Is Your Child Using Their Device In A Positive Way?
You should also think about what your child is doing on their digital devices. Are they playing educational games or staying in touch with friends and family? Or are they just wasting time with no real gain other than mindless entertainment?
If your child is using technology in a positive way, then there shouldn’t be too much cause for concern. However, parental controls should most definitely be put in place so that your child isn’t exposed to any inappropriate content.
Enforce Some Rules
If you’re concerned about your child’s screen time, it might be time to enforce some rules. Compromise is better than confrontation, so rather than saying “No more technology for the rest of the week”, perhaps say something like “You can have an hour on your PlayStation if you spend an hour outside first”. This is far more encouraging for a youngster, it ensures they stay active and will help your family avoid feelings of resentment.
We hope this tips have helped address some of your questions and concerns around screen time for kids. As discussed, every family and situation is different. Some days there might be lots of screen time, some days there may be none at all. So use your common sense and keep an eye on what your kids are doing on their electronic devices. You will then be on track for a healthy relationship when it comes to screen time for kids.