How to Limit Screen Time
Equally those of us with children are often guilty of giving them an iPad, tablet or letting them watch the TV after they’ve asked us 100 times and we simply just want 5 minutes of peace.
But do we know how much screen time our children should be having? Everyone is different and what works for one family may not work for another. Some children may have lots of screen time where others may not have any at all – all situations are different. But if we’re basing it on the recommended amount of screen time, you’ll find it’s surprisingly quite a small number!
Zero except for video chats with family. Health professionals always express the importance of sensory play, singing nursery rhymes, reading books and lots of physical play with a child at this age.
18 months – 2 years
Less than 1 hour a day. At this age children begin to familiarise themselves with things they like. Limiting how much screen time they have at this age allows for plenty of physical play, reading their favourite books and singing their favourite songs instead! Turning everyday things in to a sing song can provide lots of entertainment for little minds.
2 - 5 years
Less than 1 hour per weekday and less than 3 hours per weekend day. This age range will see the majority of children participating in some form of childcare. Nursery, playgroup, school etc. So, an hour in an evening would seem adequate enough. It still allows for reading, playing and enjoying conversations and time with you.
6 years plus
Less than 2 hours of recreational screen time per weekday. A couple of hours a day seems fair considering being at school all day during the week, having homework to complete, spending time with friends and family and simply enjoying being a kid. As the teenage years creep in, prizing them away from their game consoles seems to be the daily challenge though!
18 years plus
Keep to 2-4 hours of recreational screen use per weekday. I would say for most adults this sounds a fair amount for screen time. By the time you’ve sat down from a day’s work, sorting the kids, getting some dinner, whatever your evenings may look like, we probably do get 2-3 hours to watch something before bed, right?!
Its fair to say that as parents we do what we can to be the best we can be. Whether you follow the recommended guidelines or not, recommendations in all respects are exactly that.
Make Time for Family
How can we make screen time more family orientated? Planning some time out to use digital devices together with your child whilst also creating clear family rules for the media and technology you choose to use could be beneficial within the family setting. Perhaps you could use the screen time as an incentive for good behaviour, like an episode of your child’s favourite programme before bed that you sit and watch together on the TV, or 30 minutes on an iPad learning game if they eat all their dinner.
Giving Children Independence
If you have slightly older children, learning more about services, content and age ratings can help you decipher what is appropriate for your child and their developmental stage. Many platforms allow parents to put parental locks on certain apps and websites to ensure that they only see what is meant for their age range. You can create child profiles with parental locks too.
Make your child’s start to digital life great, by getting involved in their online activities – with varying different platforms to choose from you can make learning so much fun! Cbeebies is a personal favourite, it has lots of learning games which you can download as apps involving many well-loved characters which is fantastic for little ones.
Book a Demo
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