As parents, we often wonder what the right amount of screen time for kids is appropriate. No one would blame you for wondering: What if I just completely cut my child off from the online world…? No social media, no games, no YouTube… No TikTok! If these platforms are where all the trouble happens – and they often are – why not just pull the plug and say “No!”? Well, several years of research show us that, in today’s [digital] world, being a restrictive and overbearing parent leads not only to children missing out academically, but also end up engaging in more negative, risky and aggressive online behaviours, and fewer supportive and protective ones.
How to manage screen time for kids
- Set clear limits and rules
- Lead by example
- Create screen-free zones
- Prioritize quality content
- Use screen time as a reward
- Engage in joint screen time
- Encourage outdoor and offline activities first
Set Clear Limits and Rules:
Establish clear and age-appropriate screen time limits. Create a family media plan that outlines when and how screens can be used. Be consistent in enforcing these rules.
Lead by Example:
Be a role model for your children. Limit your own screen time, especially during family meals and quality time together. Children are more likely to follow your lead.
Create Screen-Free Zones:
Designate specific areas in your home where screens are not allowed, such as the dining room and bedrooms. This promotes family interaction and better sleep.
Prioritize Quality Content:
Encourage your children to engage with educational and age-appropriate content. Use parental controls and filters to ensure they have access to safe and enriching media.
Use Screen Time as a Reward:
Screen time can be an effective reward for completing chores, homework, or other responsibilities. This teaches children about time management and responsibility.
Engage in Joint Screen Time:
Watch, play, or explore digital content together as a family. This allows you to discuss what your child is viewing and promotes bonding.
Encourage Outdoor and Offline Activities:
Balance screen time with physical activities, hobbies, and outdoor play. Encourage your children to explore their interests beyond screens.
Remember that screen time management should be tailored to your child’s age, developmental stage, and individual needs. Open communication with your children about the importance of balance and healthy screen habits is key to their understanding and cooperation.
Cyber Safety at Freshwater Christian College
Online safety is an important part to education and our College has a high priority on ensuring our children are safe at school and at home. Our partnership with Famil Zone gives parents the ability to manage screen time for kids 24 hours a day. To find out more about technology and cyber safety at our College visit our Technology Page.
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