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Top Screen Time Habits for Kids

Top Screen Time Habits for Kids

Kids and screen time.

It’s one of those things we try to get right as parents, but there’s no magic rulebook containing all the answers.

Because there’s no one-size-fits-all way to monitor and manage your children’s screen time.

We know you want to encourage a balanced and mindful approach to technology use, which means you might be thinking of introducing a family digital reset or looking for ways to set limits on your children’s video game time.

But first, let’s take a look at the steps you can take today to make screen time more positive, as well as some of the healthy online habits you can promote along the way.

And, if you’re doing some of these already, we salute you.

Quality online time is important

We’re surrounded by screens in our day-to-day lives, but guidance on the ‘right’ amount of screen time for children and young adults is often unclear or conflicting.

One thing many experts agree on is that it’s useful to shift the focus from restricting the quantity of screen time to improving the quality of children’s online experiences.

This isn’t to say you shouldn’t set some boundaries around screen time at home (because you certainly should) but it’s also important to incorporate positive digital experiences into our children’s lives so that the time they do spend on screens is as beneficial to their development as possible.

A UNICEF report says: “Children who participate in more online activities tend to have better digital skills compared to those who engage in fewer activities.” And goes on to recommend that parents help their kids discover new and exciting things to do online that will enable learning and personal development.

By encouraging children to explore their interests and passions through technology, helping them interact with inspiring and educational content, and sharing safety and security advice, we can unlock the value of online experiences.

Just quickly. On the subject of online safety and security, if you’re searching for a reliable source of information, our guide to raising digitally smart families is a great place to start. In addition, our Build & Talk resource can help parents tackle these topics in a relaxed, fun, and engaging environment to ensure nothing gets in the way of your child’s well-being.

Unlock the value of online experiences

Access to educational materials. The chance to develop problem-solving skills while playing a video game. Immersive ways to connect and collaborate with friends and family.

There are many reasons why we should embrace online experiences as part of our children’s lifestyle. And just in case there’s any confusion, here’s a short list of a few of the things supervised and structured screen time can help children do:

- Learn online

- Explore their creativity

- Enhance self-expression

- Develop a sense of belonging

- Engage in interactive family moments

- Form positive online connections with friends

Nobody said parenting in the digital age would be easy, but if we become advocates for a healthy digital diet then we know we’re doing a good job.

How your family can embrace a healthy digital diet

- Quality counts. Help your kids choose online experiences that are challenging or creativity-driven to encourage development and skill building.

- Get kids moving. Make a music video, film an action-adventure, and encourage the use of apps that provide creative stimulation as well as physical movement. In addition, get children up on their feet by implementing regular breaks.

- Enjoy time together. Organize fun online activities that prioritize family time and keep communication channels open at all times. That means discussing digital content, sharing ways to be safe and secure online, and reassuring your children that you’re always happy to talk about any questions or concerns they might have about technology.

- Set a good example. If you’re talking with your child, avoid checking your phone at the same time. After all, how can they be expected to take a balanced and mindful approach to technology use when they don’t see you switch off?

- Do a digital detox. Agree on when and where kids can engage with technology and consider taking a break from screen time for a day or a week. Alternatively, turn your home into a digital-free zone at the weekends or introduce no-phone zones in certain rooms.

- Well-being wins the day. Prioritize your child’s education before engaging in screen time and – to ensure they get regular, good-quality sleep – consider taking digital devices out of bedrooms or limiting their use after dark.

- Finally, cherish your time offline. Technology can be awesome, but it’s important to balance online and offline time. Engage in family moments like building with LEGO bricks, playing sports, interacting with nature, reading books or going for a bike ride with friends.

With all this in mind, let’s start to view digital screen time as a way to complement your kid’s day-to-day lifestyle – but not to rule it.