3 Ways to Determine How Much Screentime is Right for Your Child

I read this article today after this title jumped out at me 10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12

WHOAH! Am I bad parent? My son is 11 and I let him use a smartphone.

It seems like everyday I find a different article or story on the news warning about too much "screentime".

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How do you determine what is best for you and your children?

1. Be informed.  Don't let one article determine what to do.  Seek out many sources to help provide you with as much information as you can. Be as informed as you can and decide for yourself.

2. Talk to your doctor  It is a good idea to have a conversation with your medical professional too. Here are the guidelines for screen time use according to The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Society of Pediatrics:

  • infants aged 0-2 years should not have any exposure to technology,
  • 3-5 years be restricted to one hour per day
  • 6-18 years restricted to 2 hours per day

3. Don't compare yourself to others.  Remember, what is right for one parent doesn't mean it has to be right for your parenting style. 

The article says that Children and youth use 4-5 times the recommended amount of technology, with serious and often life threatening consequences.

For me, the KEY is balance - use the guidelines as a boundary so that you can help ensure your kids are getting a healthy balance of activities in their lives.  Is homework getting done?  Are his grades where we want them to be? Is he socializing and playing with friends outside of school? Is he participating in his sports willingly and with passion and excitement?

Whew, I think I am doing pretty good so far...