Screen Time for Kids: Tips for Monitoring Your Child's Technology Use
August 26, 2020
Technology brings an infinite number of benefits to our world. It has made long-distance communication possible, enables us to have 24/7 access to information, is a primary tool for job performance and accomplishing everyday tasks, and even provides us a GPS to get to wherever we choose at any given time.
However, as technology continues to take over our everyday lives, keeping up with basic human to human interaction skills, exercise and productivity as a whole becomes significantly more difficult, especially for children. As parents, we now have the important job of helping teach our children about responsible screen time use and guiding them through this world.
What does it mean to manage your child’s screen time?
Using technology responsibly and limiting screen time for your kids does not mean to avoid it all the time. It also doesn’t mean monitoring every move your child makes on their phone, tablet or computer. There are many ways to practice responsible screen usage, and as we mentioned, technology is so critical in our day to day lives that ignoring it just isn’t an option for our children’s futures.
Oftentimes, when discussing how to manage a child’s screen time, parents find themselves battling what exactly managing their child’s screen time means. There are countless apps out there to help parents, and managing your child’s screen time starts with finding the right app for your family.
Many apps simply limit screen time, which can leave parents feeling the practice of limiting and monitoring screen time for kids is strict or unfair, in some cases even an invasion of their child’s privacy. While some apps limit screen time, some offer additional teaching tools for kids. For example, with our program and mobile app, we strive to clarify what monitoring screen time for kids really means, and that is to limit their use of screens in order to create a healthy balance between their lives and technology, while teaching children about time management. We’re here to make parents and their children feel comfortable and in control of their technology use, while showcasing the numerous benefits that come along with it.
What are the dangers of too much screen time?
Having unlimited access to the internet, social media sites and games are only a few of the many incredible changes the Technology Age has brought to the world. However, there are always risks and side effects with even the best products. In the case of technology, decades of research has found that too much screen time can impact kids in a variety of ways, even affecting entire families. These problems include, but are not limited to:
- Trouble sleeping
- Poor academic performance
- Less time with family and friends
- Lack of social skills
- Poor self-image and body image issues
The negative effects that come with excessive screen time are not always tangible. Not only can too much screen time harm the individual, but it can harm family relationships. When a family member is giving interrupted attention by constantly checking their device, it can make the rest of the family feel unimportant. Parents should always model responsible screen behavior by avoiding their personal devices when spending time with their children. Children who experience interrupted care can grow up feeling unimportant, and are at greater risk of developing mental health problems such as depression.
Screen Time for Kids: Benefits of Monitoring & Limiting Screen Time
As mentioned above, the benefits that come along with monitoring screen time for kids are endless. The results of a study conducted in 2014 prove this as they reveal that reducing screen time for kids improves sleeping habits, lowers their body mass index, and increases their performance in school. Parents even found their kids to be less moody and aggressive.
Children who spend less time on electronic devices and more time participating in alternative activities are also opened up to more perspectives on the world and everyday life. This can lead to a more rounded, healthier mindset as such kids avoid the potential negative influences of technology and experience more sides of life.
The Responsible Screens program and mobile app can help educate parents on these issues and provide steps families can take to live healthier, well-balanced lives. Managing a child’s screen time and modeling responsible screen behavior allows parents to feel more comfortable about how their kids are prioritizing their time, and kids to live a healthier life both physically and mentally.
What is the Recommended Screen Time for Kids?
It can be difficult to know how much screen time is too much, depending on how much your child needs to use technology for school work, their age and more. Generally, experts recommend only using video chat for babies that are at least 28 months old and no more than an hour of screen time per day for kids 2-5 years old. It’s helpful to choose a screen time app that offers flexible settings that parents can customize to fit their family’s needs.
From Monitoring Your Child’s Screen Time to Mentoring
As parents, you may be wondering what to do when monitoring screen time for kids doesn’t work. Our best advice is to always remember to be a mentor to your children and model the behavior you’d like to see.
When you choose a screen time program like Responsible Screens, you’ll learn how to guide your child with them! You will be able to create more effective solutions to encourage your children to be in control of technology rather than only consumers and help them to use their devices for positive, more beneficial purposes.
Choosing the Right Screen Time Management App for Your Family
At Responsible Screens, we want to teach children and teens to balance life and technology. Technology is here to stay, and we must learn to live with it, without letting it take control of our real lives. Learn more about the different programs available through our app today!