Hello again! We appreciate you coming back to our blog again and again. We’re here trying to help you get all the information you need as the good parents of the kids of Savannah. We’re here to help you make the best choices for your kidz! We see it as our job to give you some food for thought.
Keeping Screen Time in Check
Today we’re talking about keeping screen time in check. You know, all those electronic devices that have become a part of our lives? What’s healthy when it comes to that? How much is too much? Whether your kid already has a phone or you’re thinking about letting them have one, we’re going to help you think through the pros and cons and options.
First, as always, it’s critical to model the behavior you want to see. If your kidz have their little faces buried in their screen all the time, is it possible they’re getting that behavior from you? If you’re having a hard time interacting with them or getting their attention away from some screen, is it possible they might be having a hard time getting your attention? Our kidz suck up everything we do, so it’s important to be a role model when it comes to electronics!
Whole Family Guidelines Regarding Screen Time
With that in mind, maybe there are some guidelines the whole family can get behind regarding use of screens and screen time. Maybe all phones should be charged in a common area at night. You know how unhealthy it is to be scrolling late at night when you’re trying to get some great sleep and rest up for the day ahead. Maybe the whole family can agree to weekly and daily limits on screen time. This will help you do more together as a family that doesn’t involve electronics. Of course, family activities that involve electronics can be in a separate category. This is a great opportunity to work on the ongoing process of compromise.
How Much Screen Time is Okay? That’s Up to You.
- Kidz Under 2 Years Old: Almost 0, Always Supervised
- Kidz Under 6 Years Old: Less than 1 Hour Per Day, Less than 3 Hours Daily on Weekends
- Kidz Over 6 Years Old: Under 2 Hours Per Day
So just how much screen time is too much? It depends…
It’s so tempting to hand your kid a screen so they can be enthralled and you don’t have to worry about them. But with great power comes great responsibility.
Here’s the current common consensus on screen time by age:
Kids under two years should have virtually no screen time – maybe just watching a video with you.
Kids under six should definitely stay under three hours per day on weekends, with under an hour of non-educational, non-productive time on weekdays.
Kids over six are really starting to understand wrong from right, so it’s at this point where you as a parent come in and start making more judgements. In general, two hours of non-educational, non-productive time is a good guideline for all kidz, even older ones.
Be a Role Model for Screen Time and Use of this Tool
But think about yourself and being a role model. How much do you use your phone for productivity and how much time is spent on leisure. Your kidz learn from you.
Electronics can be fantastic tools – they don’t have to be all about leisure and time wasting. A phone can be an excellent tool for child safety when used properly. It can also be a creative outlet, allowing kidz to explore photography, still life, and nature. Having the sum of human knowledge at your fingertips can be an excellent research tool – when used properly. And then, yes, games can be a great distraction when needed and appropriate. The point is that screen time can fall into many categories. So be sure to think that through as you set guidelines.
Dissociating use of electronic devices from punishment and reward can be very helpful. Making a phone a reward can be a slippery slope when it’s a tool most people have come to rely on for everyday use. Of course, a phone can be a reward, and leisure time can be a reward for productivity (as it is in the adult world), but think through how you want kids to perceive the tools available to them.
And if you feel like everyone has their face buried in their phone and is not interacting, it’s time to introduce some other family activities that reward time away from electronics! How’s family game night, or movie night? Can game night include vocabulary, math, or other games? How about a beautiful weekly photography challenge that inspires kids to see the beauty in everything every day? Can they learn about music or perform a musical challenge? Or find some oldies you love?
Other Screen Time Considerations:
Phones, tablets, and electronic devices come with a lot of responsibility – the kind you and your kidz are going to have to think through and agree upon. Here are just some other subjects to think about:
Monitoring: How much do you need to know what your kid is doing with their electronics? How much do they need to know what you’re doing with yours?
Online safety: Scammers and predators abound. Do you and your kidz know how to handle seemingly benign situations and spot when they start to get sketchy?
Misinformation: Do your kidz have a healthy skepticism for information they find online? Do they know what makes a reliable information source and how to spot fakes?
Body Positivity: As we touched on in a recent blog, social media can skew our perceptions of ourselves and hurt our relationship with our mind and body.
This is not a comprehensive list of things to think about. When you have a virtually unlimited computer in your hand, it’s an incredibly valuable and incredibly dangerous tool. We’re just trying to give you some things to think about. Electronics are part of daily life now, so how can you help your kidz be prepared for the responsibility of this incredible, magical tool?
Thanks for stopping by again! Hopefully these ideas have helped you think through some of the important factors when determining how to handle screen time for your kids. We want to help you keep this tool in check.