How to Limit Screen Time for Kids? Expert Screen Time Recommendations

How much screen time is too much? What are recommendations of screen time for kids? And, what can parents do to limit screen time for kids? 

Today’s children are growing up surrounded by new and entertaining technology that is everywhere. 

This is in sharp contrast to what most parents grew up with 30 years ago — when we still listened to tape players. So…

Parents need answers to screen time questions. 

Screen Time for Kids Recommendations

Limit Screen Time for Kids

While technology is in the present, and likely the future, the skills young children gain from frequent interaction with devices are far inferior to the brain-building, social interactions like talking, reading and playing face-to-face.

Even education apps that teach numbers and letters, don’t compare.

Find tips to limit screen time for kids from experts at – The Family Conservancy; a LOCAL organization working to empower KC families for a successful future.


How Much Screen Time is too Much?

Most children already exceed the daily recommendation of screen time for kids.

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) research shows that infants and toddlers have difficulty connecting information from screen time with the real world. For this reason, the AAP recommends:

  • Children under 2 have very limited access to screen media. When they do, the content should be high-quality and parents or caregivers should be present to help them understand what they’re seeing.
  • For children 2 to 4, screen time should be limited to one hour of high-quality content per day. Parents should watch content with them to help connect what they’re seeing with the real world.
  • For school-aged children, parents should establish boundaries while having consistent, limited amounts of screen time and device use.

According to a 2017 report from Common Sense, children ages 2-4 spend an average of 2 hours and 39 minutes with screen media each day. (TV, mobile devices, video games etc.)

During their early years, kids develop the foundations for cognitive, language, and social-emotional skills. These skills are best developed through exploration, play, and social interaction with parents and caregivers.

It is important parental controls be taken into account, to ensure your child’s development is healthy & progressing.


How to Limit Screen Time for Kids?

Technology Tips for Parents

In our fast-paced world, parental control isn’t always easy.  These tips can make it easier to manage screen time for your kids:

  1. Be a role model. Even before your child can use your bad habits of screen time, they look to you as a role model. For example, the popularity of cell phone & iPads as toys for babies creates no boundaries for screen time. Establish boundaries regarding screen time for kids & device-free family time.
  2. Ensure regular, quality sleep. It is extremely important for young children. Try to turn off TVs and devices at least an hour before bedtime. Media can disrupt the regular process of winding down.
  3. Make the most of the time you spend with your children, and remember that you are your child’s most important teacher. Even small opportunities like trips to and from childcare can be great opportunities for bonding and teaching. Turn off the radio and talk.
  4. Use Parental Control Apps to limit screen time for kids on their devices. It can be hard to monitor iPads or devices they keep in their rooms, but there are many options for parental controls. Check out the app store for highly rated apps by other parents.

While digital devices can be interactive and valuable educational tools, they’re no replacement for proven activities like talking, reading and playing. Screen time isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but too much screen time for kids can lead to harmful effects. 

The early development can be hindered if screen time is not monitored by parents. Ensure you are taking the necessary steps to reduce your kids’ screen time.

If you are looking for parenting advice in other areas, check out other posts from The Family Conservancy like Back to School Tips, How to Support Literacy & Language Development in Kids, or Family Emergency Action Plans.

Brought to you by The Family Conservancy

Helping Children & Strengthening Families since 1880. 

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