Parenting in a Screen-Centric World: Balancing Screen Time for Kids

kids playing on tablets

In today’s digital age, screens interpenetrate every aspect of our lives and parenting is becoming increasingly complex. Technology offers endless opportunities for entertainment, education, and communication. However, these features come with challenges. Parents must be mindful, adaptive, and proactive in managing their children’s screen time and promoting a healthy relationship with technology

Problems with screens

Overuse of screens and regular viewing of poor-quality programs can lead to problems such as

  • Obesity
  • Inappropriate sleep schedules and sleep deprivation
  • Behavioral problems
  • Delay in the development of language and social skills
  • Violence
  • Attention problems
  • Reduced learning time

However, remember that playtime is more valuable for young children’s brain development than electronic media; children under two learn better when they interact and play with others.

Nevertheless, screen time at the age of two can be beneficial, for example, programs with music, movement, and stories. Watching together helps children understand what they are watching and apply it to real-life situations. However, passive screen time should not replace reading, playing games, or problem-solving.

Setting healthy screen time limits for children

Nowadays, setting healthy screen time limits is essential to ensure children’s well-being and development.

Children under 18 months

For babies under 18 months of age, it is recommended to avoid screen time entirely, except for video calls with family members. This is a critical period of development for children this age and interactions with screens can interfere with the physical and social interactions that are essential for them.

Children 18-24 months

At 18 to 24 months, limited screen time can only be introduced if parents/caregivers are actively engaged with the child. During this period, co-monitoring is essential. It provides meaningful interaction, supports language development, and ensures that screen time is educational and engaging.

Children aged 2-5 years

For children aged 2-5, screen time should be limited to less than one hour per day. This duration can be used for educational and age-appropriate content. Co-watching with parents remains essential for children to understand what they are watching and to encourage active participation and discussion.

How to ensure quality screen time

  • Preview programs, games, and apps before you show them to your child or let them play them. 
  • Look for something interactive that will engage your child, rather than something that just requires pushing, scrolling, or looking at the screen.
  • Use parental controls to block or filter internet content.
  • Make sure your child is with you when you are looking at the screen so you can monitor their behavior.
  • Regularly ask your child what programs, games, and apps they play during the day.
  • When watching programs with your child, discuss the program you are watching and tell your child about ads and commercials.
  • Also, avoid fast-paced programs that are difficult for young children to understand and apps with a lot of violent or distracting content. 

Do you want more tips on fostering a positive relationship between children and technology?

Read our article

In conclusion, parents have to contend with peer pressure, social norms, and conflicting advice from professionals, making it difficult to set consistent rules and limits on screen time.

Although, it’s vital to build a sense of responsibility and self-management skills for kids. 

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop