Tips for Managing Screen Time

Sitting mindlessly in front of the TV or video games for endless amounts of time has been a problem we have been battling in our house for a few years now. Some of my kids would literally sit in front of a screen all day of you let them. Yes. They really would.

We have employed various strategies to help put limits of the screen time. And might I just comment on how the term “screen time” keeps growing to include more and more devices and avenues for our kids to participate. In our house, we have an array of devices the kids like to use. Most of them are “family devices,” but our oldest has an iPod that she bought with her own money. It’s a lot to try to monitor and limit.

But limiting screen time is something I’m willing to battle over in our family. Did you know that studies show that after 10 hours of screen time per week, children’s grades begin to decline? It’s not so much about the screens themselves being bad for our kids, it’s the things they’re not doing while they’re spending all that time in front of the screens that becomes a problem. They’re not playing, imagining, creating, building friendships, reading, helping out around the house, discovering hobbies… (The Read Aloud Handbook)

Here’s what we have found that is working for us:

For summer or weekends:

1 A tv show or thirty minutes of screen time in the morning.

1 hour of screen time after lunch (while I take a nap).

1 show or thirty minutes of screen time in the evening.

School days:

1 hour of screen time after lunch (while I take a nap).

1 show or thirty minutes of screen time in the evening.

Share an idea you have used in your classroom or at home that pertains to this theme.