Screen Time - How do we find the right balance?

Screen Time - How do we find the right balance?

Thank you so much for all your messages about screen time: what devices you have at home, what they do and how much time they spend on them and all your excellent advice. It is evident that ipad rage is REAL! Screens can turn our children into monsters and coming off them is ALWAYS a drama. It is absolutely horrendous when you can't pause the bl**dy game! Oh and in lockdown we collectively spent hours and hours on them!

So what devices do your children use?

  • TV, iphone, iPad, Amazon Fire, Nintendo Switch, Playstation, X Box to name but a few!

What sorts of things do they do on them and play?

  • Anything from normal tele, films, YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Minecraft, Zelda, Roblox, Super Mario Cart, various apps, cartoons, etc.  Everything and anything!

So how much time do we allow?

  • Screens in the morning until 7:30am.
  • 30 minutes max per day (after school, before bed or in the evenings).
  • 2 x 20 minutes per day.
  • 1 hour or less at 4pm.
  • Weekends between 4-6pm.
  • Nothing Monday to Friday during term time.
  • More relaxed at weekends.
  • Only in the school holidays.
  • Certain times of the day for certain devices: in the morning only TV, after lunch any device for 1.5/2 hrs, before bath, after bath only TV.

The advice you gave...

  • Use a kitchen timer.
  • Set a rule and stick to it.
  • Give a good countdown.
  • Give your child a good reason for switching off the screen - have another activity in mind.
  • Give a 15 minute warning, a 10 minute warning, a 5 minute warning.
  • Keep calm!
  • Give your child a physical time table so that they can easily see when screen time is and when it isn't.
  • Balance - had a good day outside then they can have a bit longer.
  • The goal is for them to be able to regulate their own screen time.

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