31 Aug 2017

How Much Screen Time Is Too Much Screen Time?

The tough question that I am asked all the time from parents and friends is how much time should our children be spending in front of a screen? As an eLearning teacher it is sometimes hard to come up with the right answer for this. Luckily there is a lot of advice out there to help us make informed decisions that will benefit our children.

The ever so helpful website commonsensemedia.org has your screen time plan sorted. An idea provided by the experts suggests sitting down as a family and discussing a screen time and media plan. ‘Sit down with your kids and work out a weekly plan that includes activities such as camps, trips, and events as well as media and tech time. If you’re traveling, talk about whether to bring devices and when and how much they can be used.’ This media plan can be a great anchor point to go back to and keep everyone on track.

Another helpful tip is to reset your Wi-Fi password at the end of the day or the end of the week. Create a list of activities for your children to do before they can access the new Wi-Fi password. Some activities include household chores, reading time, outside play or any other activity that is important to you and your family.

Commonsensemedia.org also recommend a list of apps that ‘let them have their cake and eat it too.’ They suggest blending outdoor activities with some of their favourite apps. One that is suggested on the website and is a household favorite for the Cross family is Geocache. The exciting app has the whole family out and about on a wild treasure chase. The website also suggests popular fitness apps and other outdoor apps to get the whole family moving around. A list of the most popular apps in this category can be found here https://www.commonsensemedia.org/lists/apps-that-inspire-kids-to-play-outside

So, how many minutes should be allocated to screen time? Unfortunately, I cannot give you the answer to this. It will all depend on how your child is using technology and what is important to your family. If you have any questions about the resources suggested above, please do not hesitate in contacting me.

Tony Cross
eLearning – Wyvern House and Lindfield Preparatory School

Newington

115 Cambridge Street
Stanmore NSW 2048
+61 2 0568 9333

contact@newington.nsw.edu.au
www.newington.nsw.edu.au

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