How to Manage Screen Time

Screen time has become an integral part of modern life, and it is a significant concern for many parents.

Studies have shown that excessive screen time can cause negative effects on children’s physical, cognitive, and social-emotional development. Setting appropriate screen time limits for your children is challenging, but crucial.

Here are some strategies recommended by psychologists to set appropriate screen time limits for children:

1. Set Age Appropriate Guidelines

The Australian Department of Health recommends:

  • under 18 months – no screen time
  • 2 to 5 years – up to 1 hour of high-quality programming per day
  • 5 to 12 years – no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time per day

2. Create a Schedule and Stick To It

Helps manage your child’s expectations and ensures they have a balance between screen time and other activities.

3. Set Boundaries

Set specific rules about where and when your children can use screens eg no screens in the bedroom, or before bedtime.

4. Monitor Content

Monitor the content your child is consuming on screens to ensure it is age-appropriate and aligns with your family values.

5. Encourage Other Activities

Encourage other activities that do not involve screens, such as outdoor play, sports, reading and creative play.

6. Model Healthy Habits

Model healthy screen time habits for your children. Reduce your screen time in front of them, and engage in other activities as well.

7. Monitor Usage

Use technology to track your child’s screen time usage, and if necessary, limit their access.

If you are still concerned about your child’s screen time usage and the impact it’s having on them, reach out to one of the READ Clinic psychologists.

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