Watch Less Than 2 Hours of Screen Time a Day!
Children spending too much time in front of a screen can have some undesirable consequences. In addition to an increased likelihood of obesity, it can lead to sleep problems, behavioral issues, impaired performance in school and less time for active play and socializing. And that screen time can add up fast when you include time spent watching TV, movies and videos, as well as playing video or computer games, or even spending time surfing the internet. Limit kids' screen time with the following suggestions:
Set Specific Times for the TV to Be On. Don't get in the habit of having the TV on in the background constantly. Only turn the TV on when you plan to sit down and watch something specific.
Don't Eat in Front of the TV. The habit of eating in front of the TV not only encourages more screen time, but also leads to mindless eating and consumption of extra calories. Turn off the TV and spend meals in family discussion instead.
Keep TVs and Computers in Common Areas. Kids who have TVs and computers in their bedrooms spend more time in front of a screen than kids who don't. Keeping screens in common areas allows parents to monitor the time the kids spend in front of screens and what they are doing on those screens.
Record Any Shows the Kids can Watch. Recording shows not only allows you to ensure that the kids watch what you want, when you want, but you can edit out commercials, which further reduces screen time.
Encourage Physical Activity Instead of Screen Time. Get out and take a walk or bike ride with the kids, or offer physical challenges that kids can do around the house. Insist that the kids get a minimum of daily physical activity before they can have any screen time not related to homework.
Make Sure that Caregivers Understand and Follow Your Rules for Screen Time. Talk with daycare providers and babysitters to ensure that they understand how much screen time you find acceptable. Don't assume that the caregiver sets the same standards.
Do your children have a lot of daily screen time? Learn how this may be affecting them!