The secret that will help you manage your kid’s screen time
Are you one of those parents that think your child is spending way too much time in front of a screen?
In this post, I will show you the secret to managing your kid’s screen time.
The truth is that screens are part of our lives and they are not going away. So we need to find a way to manage how much time our kids are spending in front of a screen.
We need to teach them early on to be responsible for their screen time, so this digital era does not consume their lives.
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The Screen Time Epidemic
A recent Nielsen report shows that Americans spend nearly 11 hours a day consuming media from several digital devices, and the number of devices continues to grow.
The American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children 2 years and older consume only 1 to 2 hours of total screen time per day.
According to market researcher conducted by Childwise in 2015, kids aged 5-16 average 6.5 hours screen time a day, with teenage boys spending the most time on screens: an average of 8 hours a day. That is way more than the recommended time.
A typical teen can expect to spend upwards of 90 days or 3 months a year staring at a screen. That’s a 116% increase in screen time consumption since 1995.
Just imagine how much it will increase if we do nothing about it.
Kids now spend more time with their screens than they spend in any other single activity except sleep.
Negative effects of too much screen time for kids
- Excessive screen time impairs brain structure and function. (psychologytoday.com)
- Sleep deprivation
- Vision problems
- Aches and Pains. Back pain, arthritis, repetitive motion syndrome, and migraines are just some health problems kids who have too much screen time today may develop in the future.
- Loss of social skills
- Low school performance
- Behavioral problems
- less time for play
The secret to managing screen time
Not everything is bad about this digital age we live in. We just need to find a balance, set rules that work for you and your children, and above all, be involved in their lives.
The secret to managing their screen time is to have your kids earn their screen time.
You can do this in several ways and can it be adjusted according to your child’s age.
For example, my boys earn their screen time by completing chores around the house. Each chore is worth 30 minutes of screen time and we always have a screen time free day per week.
Here are a few more ideas that you can use instead of or with chores.
- Read for 20 min
- Study another language
- Practice a musical instrument
- Play outside
- Read the Bible
- Go to bed on time
- Taking care of pets
- Making good grades
Your children can use these to earn their screen time. It is up to you how many minutes they earn per activity and when they can use those minutes.
Don’t forget to get the free printable that will help you manage your child’s screen time, you can use the printable or you can use it as a guide to making a screen time management board.
I use a board like this one and you can get it here or see more options.
- With this method, they will learn to work for what they want.
- It will cut down on their screen time.
- It will teach them to be responsible for their time.
- Eliminate a sense of entitlement
- Fewer arguments
Helpful tips to manage your kid’s screen time
- Set rules and reasons and make sure everyone understands and follows those rules.
- Keep track of the time your kids earned and time spent on electronics.
- Be a good example to them and put your screen down too. Be present.
- Talk with your kids about media content. The more you are involved the more likely they are to make good choices when it comes to media content.
- Prioritize unplugged time. (100+ Ways to Spend Quality Time with your Kids).
- Make tech-free zones like bedrooms and during meal times.
- Consider using apps that control the length of time a child can use a device.
- Require your children to charge their devices outside of their bedrooms at night. Having a family charging station it’s a great idea. You can purchase one here.
Phones, tablets, computers, smartwatches, video games, etc. are here to stay. They can be a blessing or a curse depending on how you manage them or how they manage you.
The earlier you manage your kid’s screen time, the easier it will be for you and for them.
Being a parent is the biggest job that God has given us; it is a great blessing that involves a lot of work, but God knew you can handle it.
Raising Kingdom Kids is a book that I highly recommend that will help you parent your children in all areas of their life.
Finally, how do you manage your kid’s screen time? Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to share!