How Much Screen Time Should Your Kids Have?

For decades, parents have had to carefully monitor their children’s time in front of screens. Watching TV and playing video games has long been a popular activity for children and teens. The same is true today; parents now have to worry about their kids being on their smartphones and tablets too much.

Not all screen time is negative. Kids use their electronic devices to do homework and pursue other worthy activities. Still, limiting screen time is important for the emotional, social, and physical health of children. How much time your kids should be watching TV, using their phones, and playing on the computer depends on various factors, including your comfort level, your children’s needs and behavior, and family rules you have established.

What Are They Using it For?

Kids will use screen time chiefly for entertainment. You may use Best Buy coupons to buy devices, so your kids can watch TV shows and movies, play video games, browse the internet, and stream music. Kids also use electronic devices for communication, such as texting or social media. And, of course, kids will use screen time for school purposes.

The amount of time you let your kids sit in front of a screen should differ depending on the activity. For example, you will probably feel better about your son or daughter spending three straight hours on a laptop writing an essay than if your child is watching YouTube videos. When the screen time is exclusively for leisure, make sure you are conservative about how long they are on their device.

Consider Your Kids’ Ages

Different ages have different screen-time guidelines. Before 18 months, children should only be in front of the screen to communicate with others, such as in a video chat. This should take place with the help of an adult. From 18 months to two years, screen time should be limited to educational programming. Screen time for kids ages 2–5 should not exceed one hour a day for non-educational programs. These numbers can gradually rise through childhood and through the school years and adolescence.

Be Aware of the Effects of Excessive Screen Time

If you are going to establish rules and boundaries around screen time, you should first recognize the negative aspects of these habits. Too much time in front of the TV, computer, or smartphone can have physical problems such as poor sleep, weight gain, and obesity.

Another health issue that may arise due to the continuous use of digital gadgets is weak and irritable eyesight. Kids can get itchy and blurry eyes due to the blue light emitted through mobile and computer screens. While reducing screen time can be a great option, you can additionally employ aids like blue light computer glasses, which can filter blue rays effectively and cause less digital strain. You can check out various websites similar to https://www.blublox.com/collections/kids-glasses or contact a professional to learn more about kids’ products for eyesight health.

Moreover, due to higher screen time, kids can develop mood problems along with poor self-image and body image issues. Children can also do poorly in school and struggle to get along with family and peers. These issues can occur more commonly when kids watch content with violence, sex, substance abuse, or bullying.

As a parent, you should be familiar with these guidelines and strive to keep your kids’ screen time low. You can play a key role by talking about these issues and helping your children understand when to get away from the screen.

Engage Your Kids in Productive Pastimes

Instead of allowing your children to spend excessive time in front of screens, you can consider involving them in productive activities that can significantly contribute to their overall development.

For instance, you can encourage them to participate in sports, which can not only keep them physically active but can also teach teamwork and discipline. Additionally, make sure to introduce them to arts and crafts from an early age to let their creativity flow through drawing, painting, or building projects. During school breaks, you can also allow them to attend a winter or summer camp for kids in Warrington, PA, or elsewhere, where they can make new friends, learn new skills, and enjoy the outdoors. Reading is another excellent option, which can foster their imagination and improve literacy skills; so why not build a regular bedtime reading habit?

These activities can not only reduce the potential negative effects of screen time but can also help your children develop essential life skills, build stronger family bonds, and create lasting memories.

To sum up, while screen time can serve educational and entertainment purposes, it’s crucial to monitor and limit its duration. Balancing screen activities with physical, social, and creative pursuits is essential for children’s holistic development. By understanding the risks of excessive screen time and promoting alternative activities like sports, arts, and reading, you can foster healthier habits and enrich your children’s lives with diverse experiences. Ultimately, thoughtful management of screen time can contribute to better emotional, social, and physical well-being for your children in the digital age.

Sources:

https://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/FFF-Guide/Children-And-Watching-TV-054.aspx

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/childrens-health/in-depth/screen-time/art-20047952