Want to know what are the best ways to limit screen time for kids? These are some of the most highly recommended practices for parents, grandparents and caregivers.
Studies have shown that too much screen time for kids can have detrimental affects on their development. This topic affects everyone, not just parents, grandparents and caregivers. We have worked in law enforcement and focused on child safety for nearly 40 years. These guidelines and tips to limit screen time for kids can help families and caregivers. It’s important to note that we are not medical professionals. If you need medical help regarding these issues, you can contact the American Psychological Association at (800) 374-2721. Watch our YouTube program on Keeping Children Safe here.
You are going to learn about the best ways to limit screen time for kids that are recommended by national psychologists and us.
After learning about these suggestions, you will be better able to help youngsters navigate healthy screen usage.
This post is all about the 8 best ways to limit screen time for kids.
The 8 Best Ways to Limit Screen Time For Kids
1. Pump the brakes
Disable auto play on all of your online streaming and log out of streaming apps each time you use them. This will force you and your child to really think about whether or not you want to watch the next video. This will stop you from having continuous access to these apps as each time you log in you will have to put in your password. This pumping of the brakes will help you and your child from automatically continuously spending time online.
2. Create good habits while your kids are young
It’s much easier to teach kids good habits when they are young than to change over to new rules when they’re teens. If you stay consistent with your screen time rules, your children will respect them and aim to follow them.
3. Model balanced screen time
Find out how many hours a day or week you’re on your screen. Learn to manage it before you model it for your kids. You can easily measure your screen time with tools like Apple Screen Time and Google Family link that show you exactly how many hours you’re using it.
4. Plan Screen Time
Set times when kids can be on their screens. Limiting screen time for kids is not a bad thing. Recommended amounts of time are generally one hour a day during the week for youngsters aged 2 to 5. For kids older than 5 years, it can be up to two hours a day during the week. This requires parental involvement in working with your kiddos to choose online games, sites and online activities that meet your standard.
5. Learn to Navigate Technology
Demonstrate to your child that using screens is not bad but that it’s an important skill to have in moderation. Play online games with your children, join their social media feeds, show them how you use screen time for work.
6. The End Game
Share with your tweens and teens how big tech companies are trying to keep us glued to screens. There are some good books out that dive into how it’s done. Talk with your adolescents and help them understand the end game. Here are a few of those books:
7. Control Technology Use
Have you child as you for permission to use computers, games, and devices. Have all cell phones and online tools put away at a certain time of day. Do not let your children keep cell phones in their rooms at night. And shut down the internet at home. Without internet access, your kids will likely not be interested in using their screens.
8. Get Parental Control Apps
Research and find the right parental control apps for you and your family. There are lots of great tools for controlling access to technology. But your savvy teens know the tricks for circumventing these. It’s super important that you keep your passwords secret, do not share them with your kids. Learn other tricks to make the tools effective. You can do this!
Negative Effects of Screen Time on Child Development
Parents may not always know what their kids are watching on their cell phone, tablets, or computers. They also may not know how much time their children are spending on screens. In general, here are some of the things kids may be exposed to:
- Violence and risk-taking behaviors
- Videos of stunts or challenges that may inspire unsafe behavior
- Sexual content
- Negative stereotypes
- Substance use
- Cyberbullies & predators
- Advertising aimed at your child
- Misleading or inaccurate information
If you child is spending too much time consumed with screens, these are some of the issues they may be dealing with:
- Sleep problems
- Reading fewer books
- Lower grades in school
- Less time with family and friends
- Not enough outdoor or physical activity
- Weight and mood problems
- Poor self-image and body image issues
- A fear of missing out
- Less time learning other ways to relax and have fun
Screen Time Limits By Age
Under Age 2
- Zero screen time. With the exception of occasional video chatting with an adult.
- Limit screen time to no more than 1 hour per day, while watching with a parent or sibling.
- Limit screen time to no more than 2 hours per day.
For younger children, it can be tempting for parents to want to use screens as pacifiers, babysitters or to stop temper tantrums. But we urge you not to. It’s highly recommended to turn off all screen during family meals and outings. Shut them down and remove them from bedrooms at least one hour before bedtime. Additionally, learning about and using parental control apps to regulate screen time for children will help as well. These are suggested guidelines. Parents and caregivers should use common sense and do what’s best for their child and family.
The post was all about the 8 best ways to limit screen time for kids.
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