Technology offers its share of advantages and disadvantages. Today’s children benefit from the information and skills technology provides. But any parent who has had to separate their child from a device will tell you that technology can also be a curse.
Many parents struggle balancing screen time. They may wonder, how much is too much? They may encounter challenges finding the right approach.
How Much is Too Much?
Parents must set clear guidelines on how much screen time is acceptable for children. Pediatricians generally recommend:
- Children under 2: No screen time except for family chats
- 2-5 years old: No more than one hour of supervised screen time a day
- 5-17 years old: No more than two hours of screen time a day except for homework
How to Balance Screen Time for Kids
Parents must set guidelines regarding screentime including:
- When they can go online- Parents may limit screen time so it doesn’t happen at the dinner table. They can also set guidelines for how long the child stays online and how often they log on.
- What they do online: House rules can dictate guidelines for allowable online activity. For example, you may allow your child to log on for educational purposes but limit gaming. Parents must also be aware of online content to protect young children from adult subject matters.
- Where they go online: Parents may feel their children are safer if their screen time is limited to the family room.
Aim for Short Sessions
Many children (and adults) become mesmerized by the screen. They may plan to research something specific and find themselves down the rabbit hole.
Parents can prevent short sessions that turn into long sessions by setting a timer. When the timer goes off, they should recommend their child move on to other activities.
Plan Other Activities
Your child won’t be as reliant on their screen if they have other things to do. Parents can reduce their children’s dependence on screens by suggesting activities that don’t require the internet. Examples include:
- Take your child outside so they can get active
- Engage your child in creative activities like story-telling, art projects, and dress-up
- Encourage your child to play with other children
Avoid Screens Before Bed and in the Bedroom
Many children stay on their screens late at night. They may even go online after bedtime.
Parents must discourage online activity late at night. The blue light keeps children wakeful. They should not be on their devices when they should be sleeping.
You can reduce late-night online activity by keeping screens out of your child’s bedroom. You should also ask them to shut down their devices at least an hour before bedtime.
Kidology Can Help
Kidology helps reduce screen time by providing children with activities that boost creativity and promote physical activity. We offer educational services in special needs and tutoring capacities. At Kidology, we have a Playspace where kids can play and learn. We also provide speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, behavior services, special instruction, and parent/child groups.
Contact us to find out how we can get your child off their screen and into the real world.