How Much is Too Much Screen TimeJul 18, 2022 ● By Lifescape
It’s a question parents find themselves asking all year long, how much time my kids should be spending watching TV, movies, playing with a smartphone or computer, even video games. There’s a lot of information out there, the good, the harmful effects, and more. That makes it hard for you to know, what really is too much screen time? We’re here to help clear through some of the noise out there and give some simple ways to know when too much, is really too much.
First, let’s talk about those harmful effects too much time in front of devices can really have on your kids.
Nowadays there are devices everywhere, the living room, bedroom, and handheld. Too much screen time can lead to children becoming overweight because they become sedentary and are served a plethora of ads for junk food.
The more time kids watch a screen, the more they may struggle to fall asleep or have a tough time maintaining a regular sleep schedule.
With the school year about to begin, it’s important to point out the more access students have to TVs or other screens, especially in their bedroom, the worse they tend to perform on tests compared to students who don’t have TV’s or devices in their room.
So, what can you as a parent do to help cut down the amount of time your child spends in front of screens? It’s easy! If your child needs to focus on homework or another task, make sure there isn’t a TV or device nearby to distract them. Keep electronics out of their bedrooms and encourage them to watch where they eat. Eating a meal or snacking in front of a device can promote mindless snacking and lead to obesity.
As you work to track your child’s screen time, keep in mind they’re not only in front of devices at home. Depending on their school, they can spend a good amount of time on devices there as well. Overall, what’s vital to remember is to be mindful of how screen time is impacting their quality of life.
Research out there about screen time and its effect on children isn’t truly definitive yet due to the sheer mass of content and devices out there. Never fear though, there are efforts underway to build studies that will lead to better answers to those complex questions we all have about kids, teens, and screens. So, for now, keep it simple. You know your child best, but if you need advice or have questions, start with your child’s primary care provider.