How is this monitored and protected by mom and dad? My husband and I have started to talk about what age we think will be appropriate for our kids to have their own phones. It is a security and safety issue in some homes. How did we manage in our childhood with no cell phones?
“Too often children are given screens to pacify and occupy them when it’s not an emergency or special occasion. Instead of learning how to live in the real world of communicating with people and occasionally feeling bored, they are given a screen world for their entertainment pleasure. More and more studies demonstrate the adverse effects of screen time on the brain and your child’s social and emotional development” (Growing Up Social, pg. 28).
There are resources linked here to help answer these questions and more!
Kids Screen Time Tips
“Parents are needed more than ever to provide instruction, correction, and positive modeling to a child regarding screen time, even if this digital world seems like unfamiliar territory. We live in a brand-new era when children are digital natives and many parents are digital immigrants. In other words, many children know more technology than their parents, and that is quite different from how the world worked hundreds of years ago” (Growing Up Social, pg. 169).
My children have entered the ages where questions about screen time have to be answered. It is not always easy to decide how much they can use the iPad, phone or TV.
Often I find myself wanting to be a “yes mom. ” My kids want to play with the educational phone apps and it is learning, but saying yes all the time to technology use is not good for my children. Sometimes no is necessary.
It is not just the screentime limits to consider either. Focusing on our children’s mental health is a real concern. Take a look at the Guide to Kids’ Mental Health and Sleep. There is also a great Kids Sleep Calculator that can help set the boundaries for screentime at night in your home.
We parents have to educate ourselves and set an example of constructive screen use. It does our family-building harm if we are always staring at a screen rather than interacting face-to-face. Families are not really experiencing time together if each member is on their own device at the end of the day.Limits need to be in place. I am still trying to find that balance in my home, but we err on the side of less. Sometimes we have to say “no.”
“When a screen-driven child faces an uncertain task, they often disengage and stop paying attention. They check out mentally when they hear something that doesn’t interest them.In the screen world, children are trained daily to get what they want, when they want it, and how they want it. That may hold their attention fast, but it doesn’t sound much like the real world we are preparing our children to live in” (pg. 98).
We all have to teach our children about technology and screen time. How do you teach self-discipline in this area?
-Let the kids use the devices with time limits…even if the apps they are using are educational.
-Set time limits for technology use, and enforce them. Use a kitchen timer to keep everyone accountable and give kids a concrete ending to their screen time.
There are many activities we can do face-to-face with our infants, toddlers, preschoolers and older kids; they do not need to be using technology every day. When my children are infants and toddlers we do not have them use technology much or at all since their brains are much less mature and their attention spans are still developing.We still have movie days here and there, and allow our kids time to use technology under our supervision, so we are not a “tech free” house by any means. Use your discretion as the parent.
I mentioned in my post about Free Preschool Online, that we set the limit of 15 minutes for each of our children on a portable electronic device most days. Of course when we are traveling long distances on a road trip with kids, we relax on that rule a bit.
How do you monitor your kids’ screen time? Do you limit it?
This article is featured in A Complete Guide for Stay-at-Home Moms: Parenting Tips.
View all of the included resources HERE.
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Arlene Pellicane says
Thanks for the great ideas Jaimi and for hosting a giving away for our book Growing Up Social!
You bet, Arlene! I look forward to the winner receiving it. What a great resource for parents.
We're pretty anti-screen time with our kids. My five-year-old can watch 30 minutes of a movie per day. He doesn't get to use any smart phones or computers. And he didn't watch television until he was two, and we're doing the same with our toddlers and keeping them away from screen time until they're older. I am all about real-time communicating and don't want my kids to end up like those teenagers who stare into their iPads during parties!
K Johnson says
We set limits how much time they get per day. No more than 2 hours total except for rare, special occasions!
Thanks for sharing that! We try to keep a limit most days too.