Digital devices are here to stay. And with a lot of schools adopting distance learning because of COVID-19, it has become especially difficult for parents to limit their kids’ time on smartphones and gadgets. So how much screen time is too much? How can parents today face these modern challenges?
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) recommends the following:
How Much Screen Time Is Too Much?
• 2 to 5 years old: a non-educational screen time of only 1 hour on weekdays and 3 hours on weekends.
• 18 months to 2 years old: limit to educational programs and always supervised by an adult.
• Below 18 months: limit to occasional and supervised video chatting (with parents who are away from home or grandparents, for example).
Some psychologists believe that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to kids’ screen time as every child can have different needs. But even though experts do not agree on how much screen time is too much, the consensus is that heavy usage is detrimental to kids’ health and development.
So, how much time are your kids spending in front of screens? What can you do to limit your child’s time on these gadgets?
Here are some tips from the experts:
Provide lots of free-time for play
Instead of letting them sit in front of the TV or with their smart gadgets after meals, encourage your kids to go out and play or find a physical activity they can enjoy.
Get a toy that’s also a learning tool. Try TheSTEMKids Portable Microscope. Did you know that curiosity plays a critical role in learning? Portable microscopes can boost curiosity and prompt self-learning. And because it’s portable, they can bring it anywhere and have fun and learning anywhere!
Enforce a “no-gadget-time” rule
Kids need rules because it provides a sense of order. So, make sure you also have a no-gadget rule during meals, for example. Or you could set a time during the day where you turn off the wifi or make an hour before bedtime free from screens.
Turn screen time into a reward they have to earn
If you want to create a positive environment at home, treat the time they can spend on devices as a reward and teach your kids to look at it the same way. Reinforce positive behavior with it, so they’ll learn early on that it’s not a right but a privilege. You’ll be saving yourself lots of headaches if you do this!
Cut Down On Screen Time Today!
If you’re worried that your kids are spending too much time on their phones, and you’re wondering how much screen time is too much, you could go with the experts’ recommendations and make sure to include activities and tools that take their attention away from tech gadgets.
TheSTEMKids Portable Microscope could do just that. It stimulates children’s curiosity while providing an added bonus of fun learning. Get it today and cut down on your kids’ screen time now!