When they start school, most kids are spending a lot of time in front of screens like TVs, computer monitors, and mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.

Today, students require screens to complete schoolwork, receive assignments, do homework, or conduct research for class projects. They also spend time on social media and applications, watch TV shows, and play games on their computers and smartphones.

Additionally, school-aged children need time for other activities, such as exercise, screen-free playing, time with friends and family, and rest. Because of this, parents should set restrictions on the amount of time their children spend in front of a computer or television.

What Is the Limit of Excessiveness?

Consistent media limits are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for parents of children and adolescents ages 5 to 18. A wide range of media can be found in the form of amusement, such as watching television, or education, such as playing video games (like researching a school report on the Internet).

As a general rule, not all time spent on the screen is equal. In the end, it’s up to the parents to decide how and when their children use screens. For example, there may not be a need to limit the amount of time spent on schoolwork or other educational pursuits.

You should not substitute screen time for other activities such as sleeping, eating, playing, studying, or spending time with your loved ones.

Tips for Managing Your Screen Time

Set a good example, set limits, and talk to your child about it when it comes to screen time, just like you would with any other activity.

To help your child get the most out of their screen time:

  • Encourage your children to participate in a range of free-time activities, such as spending time with friends, completing art projects, or reading, to keep them occupied. Make sure your youngster receives adequate exercise and sleep every day.
  • At mealtimes and before bedtime, disconnect all electronic devices. Your child’s bedroom should be free of televisions and other screens, such as cellphones, tablets, and game consoles. Also, don’t let your children watch television or play video games while they’re supposed to be doing their homework.
  • Do your research before purchasing video and computer games for your child. Look at the ratings, which can range from EC (meaning “early childhood” for ages 3 and above) to AO (meaning “advanced”) (meaning “adults only”). Grade-school-aged children should generally only play games rated EC or E on their consoles (meaning “everyone” for 6 and older). Children ages 10 and above may be able to use E10+, which stands for “everyone 10 and up.” Before allowing your youngster to play alone with a game, preview it and perhaps play it with your child to get a feel for it. It’s possible that the game’s rating isn’t in line with your expectations for your youngster.
  • When you and your child watch TV, play games, or surf the Internet together, it’s an excellent way to connect. Take advantage of this opportunity to converse and learn from one another.
  • Ensure that the computer is situated in a location where you can monitor what is going on. Your youngster should be taught how to safely use the Internet and social media.
  • Set a positive example for others to follow. Keep all screens, including televisions, turned off when not in use. Stay away from screens that are constantly on. To avoid distractions while having meals with your loved ones, put your phone on silent or mute.

Please consult with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns regarding the usage of electronic devices by your child.