iPads are so convenient when you need a break, but when is it considered too much screen time?
iPads and Smart Phones are great tools when you need some quiet time, if you’re traveling, or you’re in desperate need of something to bribe your kids with…yep, you know you have been there! But when is it considered to be too much screen time?
According to the Mayoclinic, “for children ages 2 to 5, limit screen time to one hour a day of high-quality programming. As your child grows, a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work as well. You’ll need to decide how much media to let your child use each day and what’s appropriate.” Let’s be realistic, these are loose guidelines and in the end you need to do what works best for you and your family while being mindful of multiple factors as well.
One of the main things to consider with screen time is, what are they watching? Educational apps, Netflix, and kids Youtube are great resources for your child but you still have to be careful of ads that pop-up, even in the apps you download. If an inappropriate ad does pop-up, communicate with your child about how certain things aren’t for “their age” and closely monitor that program the next time.
While screen time is convenient when you need to keep yourself sane and your kids quiet, avoid getting into the routine of always using it as a tool. Screen time should not take the place of parenting on a daily basis. Encourage your child to play by interacting with them! Go outside, read their favorite book, or help them use their imagination with everyday things around the house. Make all those amazon boxes into a big rocket ship! The best memories are often created from the most simplistic of things!
Screen time is also great as a reward! Did your child use their words instead of throwing a tantrum? Did they clean up all their toys? Set a timer for 20 minutes and reward your child with iPad time!
While these are all tips on how to incorporate screen time into your life without overdoing it, it’s okay to also have days where you do overdo it! We are all human. We are all doing the best we can. Sometimes we need to throw out the guidelines and do what works best for us in that moment!
- The more you interact with your child, the less they’ll care about screen time. Create a routine when they come home from school and engage in conversation about their day, take a stroll outside and let them play and exert the energy. The will keep them happy and healthy and have a great night’s sleep.
- Use the iPad as a reward.
- Monitor what they are watching so you can catch anything that is inappropriate.