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1/26/24

How to Set Limits on Kids' Screen Time

 How to Help Kids with Screen Time

In today's digital age, it can be difficult for parents to know how much screen time is too much for their kids. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children under the age of two have no screen time at all, and that children older than two should have no more than two hours of screen time per day.

There are many reasons why parents should limit their kids' screen time. Too much screen time can lead to problems such as:

  • Weight gain
  • Sleep problems
  • Social isolation
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Addiction
  • Toddlers are still developing their bodies and minds. Too much screen time can interfere with their development.
  • Limit screen time to one hour per day, or less.
  • Choose educational apps and games that are appropriate for their age.
  • Make sure they have plenty of opportunities to play and explore the world around them.
  • Preschoolers are still learning how to interact with the world around them. Too much screen time can make it difficult for them to develop social skills.
  • Limit screen time to two hours per day, or less.
  • Choose apps and games that encourage creativity and problem-solving.
  • Make sure they have plenty of time for physical activity and social interaction.
  • School-aged children are more active and need more screen time than younger children. However, it's still important to limit screen time to two hours per day, or less.
  • Choose apps and games that are educational and age-appropriate.
  • Talk to your kids about the content they are viewing and playing.
  • Set limits on the types of games and apps they can use.
  • Teenagers are more independent and may try to push back against screen time limits. It's important to be clear and consistent with your expectations.
  • Limit screen time to three hours per day, or less.
  • Help your teenagers find other activities to do that don't involve screens.
  • Talk to them about the dangers of cyberbullying and online addiction.

However, it can also be difficult to limit screen time without causing conflict with your kids. Here are a few tips to help you:

Set clear limits and expectations

The first step is to sit down with your kids and talk to them about your expectations for screen time. Explain why you think it's important to limit screen time and what the consequences will be if they don't follow your rules.

Make screen time a privilege

Screen time should be a privilege, not a right. Make sure your kids know that they have to earn their screen time by behaving well and completing their chores.

Be a good role model

Kids learn by watching the adults in their lives. If you want your kids to limit their screen time, you need to do the same. Set a good example by limiting your own screen time and finding other activities to do with your kids.

Encourage other activities

Help your kids find other activities to do that don't involve screens. Encourage them to play outside, read books, or spend time with family and friends.

Use technology to your advantage

There are some apps and websites that can help you limit your kids' screen time. For example, the Common Sense Media app allows you to set screen time limits for your kids and track their progress.

Be patient

It may take some time for your kids to adjust to new screen time limits. Be patient and consistent, and eventually they will learn to live within the limits you set.

Here are some specific tips for different age groups:

Toddlers:

Preschoolers:

School-aged children:

Teenagers:

By following these tips, you can help your kids develop healthy screen time habits that will last a lifetime.

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