Wednesday, 6 October, 2021 - 15:15
Managing Children's Screen Time

Screen can be best described as the amount of time spent looking at a screen such as TVs, computers, smartphones, tablets, and video game consoles. Screens are used for work, education and leisure. For many of us they are essential to our daily life!

But now more than ever we are drawn to our screens.  Screen time for both adults and children have increased throughout the pandemic for connection and communication.

Balancing screen time for children is a constant challenge for parents … and home learning has made this more complex.

Small amounts of screen time can be useful and enjoyable for families. It can offer time for children to connect with others, be creative and learn. It may be educational, especially in a school setting.

Research on the positive and negative effects of screen time on children is emerging.

According to The Sydney Children’s Hospital Network these effects include:

Negative effects:

  • Weight gain from lack of activity
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Underdeveloped communication skills
  • Exposure to inappropriate or harmful information
  • Neck and Back Strain
  • Eye health
  • Mental Health concerns

Positive effects:

  • Connection with family
  • Social media can be a form of self-expression
  • Peer connection
  • Develops interests and skills
  • Platform to develop friendships
  • Educational skills

So, how can parents manage the effects of screen time?

  • Use government guidelines & recommendations as well as trusted organisational websites to self-educate about age-appropriate time limits and activity
  • Communicate firm and clear limits of screen time to children and be consistent enforcing them
  • Involve older children in the decision-making process, negotiate boundaries with your children
  • Quality over quantity, know what your children are watching and playing
  • Keep devices outside of the bedroom
  • Have screen free zones and times in the house, such as dinner time
  • Have screen free days
  • Cultivate and support your child’s talents, interests and hobbies away from the screen
  • Get outside and be active every day!
  • Try something new as a family … cook, complete a puzzle together, go for a bike ride, garden, play an old-fashioned board games or visit the local park or visit AFL MAX!
  • Focus on modelling the preferred behaviour to your children, have the same rules for yourself!

Find more information at these trusted sites:

eSafety Commissioner

The Sydney Children’s Hospital Network,for%20children%20under%202%20years.

Raising Children Parenting Website