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Wednesday, 27 May 2020

How Much Screen Time is Too Much for My Kids?

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There is no denying that the use of consoles, mobile phones and screen time in general is a hot topic amongst parents and children alike. As the world evolves and more and more technology comes into our lives it can be hard to avoid it with schools often using technology such as tablets and laptops in lessons now too. However we all aim to find that perfect balance, finding the "right" amount of screen and tech time balanced with other activities too, but is there such a thing as "too much" screen time? 



It is clear that today’s generation of young people have established a strong, occasionally unhealthy, relationship with their smart phones and other technological devices. This has resulted in a lot of research and discussion, with the main question being whether or not excessive amounts of screen time is dangerous for children. Of course, it cannot be denied that hours of inactive behaviour for anyone can have a harmful effect on their physical and mental health, but is it also impairing a child’s ability to learn or is this how life will move forward as technology becomes more and more popular in daily life? I have teamed up with a preparatory school in Haslemere to explore further. 

When it comes to determining what is a ‘healthy’ amount of screen time, parents undoubtedly have a tough job. There are of course numerous benefits to modern technology and it’s entirely your decision as to whether or not your child is using their digital devices in a beneficial way. Your child should still be getting plenty of exercise and socialising with others, so if they seem to have become a bit of a hermit, it might be time to set some rules to help reduce their screen time. You might want to suggest to your child that they join an extra-curricular club to get them out of the house and engage in educational activities.  


Essentially, there’s no straightforward answer with regards to how much screen time is “too much”. It’s all about your judgement as a parent. As long as they are engaging in physical activity, spending time with loved ones, completing their schoolwork to a high standard and getting enough sleep, then they should be okay. In reality it is very hard to escape technology all together and as our world evolves to incorporate more and more technology in our day to day life our children will need to be a little tech savvy as they go through life. 

 Alternatively, if they seem to have become quite lazy and distracted at the hand of their smartphone, then their health and performance in school will suffer. “Everything in moderation” is an important motto in this instance, so don’t feel like you have to ban your child completely. If you feel like screen time has become a battle perhaps come up with a plan that you are all happy with, designated times for screen time and non screen time so kids know when they can and cannot access it. 


Ultimately you know your child better than anyone, so only you can decide if their screen use has become unhealthy. Research is fairly inconclusive and what is right for one wont be for another, so trust your gut and use your common sense when establishing boundaries

What’s more, don’t feel as though you have to do something just because it’s what other parents are doing. 

How do you find a healthy screen time balance in your home? 

xXx


**This is a collaborative post**

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