We all do our best to limit the amount of screen time our kids have. The Mayo Clinic suggests that children under the age of 2 should have no screen time, children between 2 and 12 can have an hour of screen time a day, and teens and young adults can have up to two hours. Many parents, however, wonder about the benefits of limiting kids’ screen time. We’ve broken down the pros and cons of restricting screen time for your children.
Pro: Children Will Have Time for Other Activities
By placing a strict limit on how much time your kids can spend on screens, they’ll have plenty of time for other activities such as reading and exercising. Children should spend less time glued to their screens and more time outdoors playing with friends.
Con: Kids Need Screen Time for School
This is especially true now, with most kids learning remotely. They have to be online for their education, so try not to hold their school screen time against their personal time. Whenever they have a break, such as for lunch or recess, turn off the computer and read or go for a walk.
Pro: Good Eyes and Fewer Headaches
Staring at a screen for too long can have negative effects on our eyesight. After a few hours of mindless scrolling, we may start squinting or feeling headaches. Chances are your kids will feel better and have healthier eyes by limiting screen time.
Con: Jealousy of Older Siblings
As kids age, it becomes harder to limit their screen time, especially for teenagers. But giving free reign to your teens and limiting tech time for your younger ones could cause kids to be jealous of their older siblings. If you start to see them become angry, talk to them and explain how you want them to have enough time in the day to play outside and be with friends.
Pro: Awareness of Their Surroundings
It’s tempting to scroll through Twitter or read text messages while waiting in line at the grocery store or for your food to be ready, but if you’re not paying enough attention, you may not know what’s happening around you. Limiting screen time for kids will get them in the habit of being more aware of their surroundings, thus protecting their safety.
Con: The Internet Is Great for Learning
While it’s not great to spend your entire day looking at a screen, the internet is a fantastic learning opportunity for your children. Kids can play learning development games that teach them math, English, science, or other languages. By limiting their screen time, you might be limiting their ability to learn.
Steps to Take When Allowing Screen Time
While screen time in moderation can be beneficial, there are steps you must take to ensure your child is safe both from both strangers on the internet and vision strain from the screen itself. Some of these steps include:
- Avoiding screens at night: Blue light from smartphones and tablets affects how our body produces melatonin, the hormone that makes us tired. Too much screen time at night can see your child up for hours past their bedtime.
- Supervising your children: There’s content on the internet and app stores that’s not appropriate for children, which is why it’s always important to keep an eye on their search history. You should also set a password so your children can’t download every app they see.
Partaking in a few of these simple steps can significantly increase your child’s safety and well-being when it comes to screen time.
Turn Off the Screens at Frogbridge Day Camp
After an abnormal year filled with screen time as a result of remote learning, put the phones, laptops, and tablets away and sign your kids up for a summer at Frogbridge Day Camp! Across our 86 acres, campers can enjoy various outdoor activities like fishing, archery, and swimming.
If you’ve never experienced the wonders of our camp, we encourage you to book a private tour. We’re following all proper government guidelines, including social distancing and requiring face coverings when visiting our camp. Call (609) 795-7209 or complete a contact form to schedule your tour today!