Navigating Screen Time Limits for Kids
How much screen time is too much screen time for young children?
Setting and adhering to screen time limits can be challenging. Here are some recommendations to keep things simple for your kids (or as simple as things can be in the digital era).
The Perils of Too Much Screen Time
While children between the ages of two and five should limit their non-educational screen time to just an hour on weekdays, and to three hours on weekends, older children might appreciate—and still learn from—a less rigid approach.
But at any age, these boundaries are key.
Too much screen time can result in weight gain, poor sleep, academic issues, overstimulation, and behavioral problems. It won’t inherently cause these issues, but it’s best to be aware of just how much time your child is staring at screens each day.
Setting Proper Screen Time Limits
Don’t want to set hyper-specific limits? Here are some tips to naturally reduce older kids’ screen time:
Turn off the TV.
Many of us have fallen victim to keeping the TV on in the background throughout the day. This isn’t the type of habit parents should be modeling for their kids, though. Show your children that if you aren’t actively watching, it’s probably best to turn the TV off.
Don’t eat meals in front of screens.
Eating in front of a TV or laptop occasionally is fine. On a regular basis, however, this is a path to way too much screen time. Not only that, but eating in front of the TV on a frequent basis puts kids at risk of eating mindlessly, and of being less communicative with their parents.
Keep electronic devices in a separate room overnight.
The verdict is in, and children who keep their devices in their bedrooms tend to gaze at screens more than those who don’t. Keeping electronics in a common area overnight is a great way to not only promote sound sleep, but also encourage kids to take a break from their devices.
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