Kids and Screen Time: When is enough, enough?

Moving away from Screens

When it comes to your kids, it’s important to make sure that they don’t spend too much time on screens. Too much screen use can decrease the amount of physical activity that your kids need on a daily basis. It can also take away from the amount of time that your family spends together. 

The CDC recommends kids spend 1-2 hours on screens a day. It is important to recognize when technology can add to our lives and when it is taking away from them. Positive screen use includes communicating with friends and family who live far away and for educational purposes. Negative screen use for your kids might be activities such as video games or TV, which can be fine in small amounts but can get unhealthy when overused. 

Being a Good Role Model

One of the best ways to teach your kids healthy screen usage is to model good technology habits. Your kids are always watching you, so modeling a positive behavior is one of the best ways to teach them. One of the first steps to changing kids’ screen habits is evaluating your own screen use.

Alternatives to Technology for your Kids
  • Get outside with your kids on nice days 
  • Start a garden with your kids
  • Take your kids to the library and have them pick out books to read
  • Do an art project together
  • Cook something new with your kids, like homemade ice cream 
  • Teach your kids how to do something you love
  • Get your kids moving with fun physical activities

When it comes to finding substitutes for technology, it is important to know that every kid is different. It is also important to find activities that you and your kids love to do to make sure that screen use doesn’t get in the way!

Big Picture

There is no perfect solution to when and how long kids should be on screens. Having open conversations about how technology use can benefit or hurt your life can help them find a healthy balance for screen use in their life now and as they grow up. 

By Elly Haden

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