Screen Time

The amount of screen time that is healthy for your child depends on their age and what devices are used for. We like to distinguish between educational (or functional) and entertaining (or fun) screen time.

 

 Make a Family Digital Alliance and agree how, when and where screens are used. Use parental control apps and/or WiFi routers to help guide and develop your family’s good digital habits.

 

ScreenTime (iOs) and Family Link (Android) are a good start, but installing parental control filters on devices and WiFi are best.

The World Health Organisation recommends daily screen time limits based on age. Check out our Screentime Guide to see what is appropriate for your child.

Too much screen time can lead to obesity, sleep problems, chronic neck and back problems, eye degeneration, depression, anxiety and lower test scores in children. It also leads to "missed opportunities"' as a result of not having the time and inclination to seek and enjoy all the other things that life has to offer.

The impacts of screen time on cognitive, social, and emotional development of kids is a mix of positives and negatives.

The two key approaches are family habits and parental controls. Sit down with your family to agree on a Family Digital Alliance, including where, when and how much screen time family members should have. Have regular family sit-down, screen-free meals. Keep devices out of bedrooms at night. Help your kids plan how to spend their time, focusing on important and favorite activities to avoid sliding into the screen abyss. Install parental controls to help manage screen time agreements, give you and your child insights into how much time is actually spent on screens, and use this to become more conscious about controlling devices instead of having them control you.

The digital world brings many opportunities to learn new things, but too much screen time starts to outweigh the benefits. When deciding how much screen time is good for our kids, we have to distinguish between educational and purely entertaining screen time.

Aside from online learning, studies show that the average screen time for entertainment purposes, for ages 8-12 has risen dramatically to around 4-6 hours a day, whilst for teens it is as much as 9 hours a day.

The two key approaches are family habits and parental controls. A Family Digital Alliance can be used to agree how much screen time each family members should have, taking into account educational versus entertaining screen time. Installing parental controls on devices will help manage screen time agreements, and give you and your child insights into how much time is actually spent on screens.

Screen time hacks can easily be searched online, and there are even apps that can be downloaded to get around screen time limits set on devices. The best option is to install good parental controls on both devices and WiFi.

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Downloads related to this topic

  • Screen Time Guidelines

  • Digital Family Alliance Guideline

  • Digital Family Alliance Template

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