Six Tips to Managing Your Child’s Screen Time

Kids using electronic devices

School’s out and the kids are recharging their batteries for another year ahead.  Keeping them occupied and preventing boredom is nothing new; it has always been a challenge. So in this digital age, kids turn to screen time for their entertainment.

Since computers and all related electronic devices are here to stay, it’s important for caretakers to teach responsibility and promote healthy habits.

Benefits and Risks of Screen Time

There are many positives that come with kids using electronic devices:

  • Online games and activities can enhance teamwork and creativity.
  • The internet gives children access to a wealth of information to help build their knowledge.
  • Interacting with computers improves both visual intelligence and hand-eye coordination.
  • Technology takes away physical barriers to social connections – which is important for children who find it hard to make friends or have special interests or special needs.
  • Children in households with computers perform better academically than peers who do not have ready access to computers.
  • Outcomes for children are better if they benefit from connected technology.

However, according to a study by the Mayo Clinic, too much screen time may result in:

  • Obesity
  • Inadequate sleep schedules and insufficient sleep
  • Behavior problems
  • Delays in language and social skills development
  • Violence
  • Attention problems
  • Less time learning

The question is how much is too much time? And what are the alternative ways to keep kids engaged during the summer months?

Here are six tips to minimize screen time while maximizing healthy behaviors.

Set Time Limits

The American Academy for Pediatrics has set recommendations for screen time based on a child’s age:

Screen time based on child's age

Establish a Clear Set of Rules

Children need rules that are clear, consistent and easy to understand.  Encouraging them to do tasks on a daily basis will teach them valuable skills while earning screen time.  This also helps parents, as the kids are in charge of the amount of screen time they will earn. 

A checklist may consist of chores such as:

  • Making their bed
  • Washing dishes
  • Folding clothes
  • Picking up toys
  • Reading a book
  • Doing something creative (i.e. coloring, writing, building blocks, etc.)

The checklist should be appropriate for the age of the child. Screen time can be allotted incrementally (based on the number of chores completed daily) or the completion of all tasks may be required for screen time.

Promote Alternative Activities

Your hometown can be a great source of entertainment, without incurring a lot of cost. Some things you can do include:  

  • Visit the library
  • Visit the park
  • Watch a parade
  • Visit an indoor playground (perfect for a rainy day)


Engage in Screen Time with Your Kids

Not all activities need to be device-free.  Some fun device-centric activities may include:

  • Movie night at home. Set up a concession stand, cozy up on the couch and watch your favorite family film.
  • Online gaming. Whether it’s a virtual racing game or trivia party, these group games will engage, educate and entertain the group.


Disconnect Devices

When the screen time limit has been met, it may be hard to get your kids to turn off their device.  Even with parental devices in place, kids will find ways to extend their time.  Taking away devices may not always be possible, but many internet providers offer a way to disconnect a device’s access, as can be done with HTC’s Smart Wi-Fi.

Modeling for Your Child(ren)

“Monkey see, monkey do.” If you want your kids to spend less time on their devices, you must be willing to do the same.  Initiate a no phone zone during meals and when family activities are taking place.

You may find that it’s hard at first, but with practice you’ll begin to enjoy the personal interaction that comes with putting down your electronic devices.  Your kids will also appreciate your full attention.

10 thoughts on “Six Tips to Managing Your Child’s Screen Time

  1. Screen time can be beneficial for kids, you just have to pay attention to what they’re watching and the amount of time they spend on the screen.

  2. limiting Ipad usage is very important. outdoor exercise is best for youth for example walking, running, bike riding.

  3. You can set parental locks to limit time, level of access to the web and programs, ranges the computer can be used in, ex: 4-9pm only weekdays, weekends unlimited

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tier 1

Up to 500
Starting At



Tier 2

Up to 750
Starting At


Tier 3

Up to 1 GIG     
Starting At