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How to Manage Your Child’s Screen Time

In today’s digital age, managing your child’s screen time has become increasingly important for their overall well-being. While technology can offer educational and entertainment benefits, excessive screen time can have adverse effects on children’s physical health, mental development, and behaviour. Finding a balance between screen time and other activities is important for promoting healthy habits and ensuring your child’s optimal growth and development.

Understanding Screen Time Guidelines

In the UK, neither the NHS nor the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) have any detailed guidance for screen time among babies and toddlers yet. But they do recommend an upper limit of two hours per day for all children .

Tips for Managing Your Child’s Screen Time

Set Clear Boundaries

Establish clear rules and guidelines for usage, including when and where screens are allowed, how much time is allowed each day, and which types of content are appropriate.

Lead by Example

Be a positive role model for your child by practicing healthy screen habits yourself. Limit your own screen time in front of your child and engage in alternative activities such as reading, outdoor play, or family interactions.

Encourage Balanced Activities

Encourage your child to engage in a variety of activities beyond screens, including physical exercise, creative play, social interactions, and spending time outdoors. Offer alternatives that are stimulating and enjoyable.

Use Screen Time Wisely

When allowing it, prioritise educational and age-appropriate content that enriches your child’s learning and development. Engage with your child during screen time to discuss what they are watching and encourage critical thinking skills.

Create Screen-Free Zones

Designate certain areas of your home, such as bedrooms and mealtime areas, as screen-free zones to promote family interactions, relaxation, and healthy sleep habits.

Establish Screen-Free Times

Set specific times of the day when screens are not allowed, such as during meals, before bedtime, or during family outings. Use this time to connect with your child, engage in meaningful conversations, or participate in shared activities.

Monitor and Supervise Screen Time

Monitor your child’s usage and enforce the established rules consistently. Use parental control features to limit access to inappropriate content and track your child’s online activities.

Encourage Outdoor Play

Prioritise outdoor play and physical activity as part of your child’s daily routine. Spending time outdoors promotes physical health, creativity, and sensory exploration, providing a welcome break from screen time.

Foster Open Communication

Maintain open and ongoing communication with your child about their expectations and concerns around device usage and the importance of balance. Encourage your child to share their thoughts and experiences regarding technology use.

Be Flexible and Adapt

Be flexible in your approach and be willing to adapt your strategies based on your child’s individual needs, interests, and developmental stage.

Managing your child’s screen time is important for promoting healthy habits, maintaining balance, and supporting optimal development. By setting clear boundaries, leading by example, prioritising balanced activities, and open communication, you can help your child develop a healthy relationship with technology while encouraging them to engage in a variety of enriching experiences.


How can I limit my child’s Screen Time during remote learning?

While remote learning may require increased screen time, you can mitigate its effects by scheduling regular breaks, incorporating offline activities, and encouraging physical movement throughout the day.

What are some educational screen time options for young children?

There are many educational apps, websites, and programs available for young children that promote learning in various subjects, such as letters, numbers, shapes, and colours. Look for interactive, age-appropriate content that aligns with your child’s interests and developmental level.

How can I encourage my child to participate in screen-free activities?

Engage your child in activities that spark their curiosity and creativity, such as arts and crafts, imaginative play, storytelling, or outdoor exploration. Offer a variety of options and let your child choose activities that interest them.

What are the signs that my child may be Having too much Screen Time?

Signs that your child may be spending too much time on screens include irritability, difficulty concentrating, poor sleep quality, decreased interest in other activities, and physical health issues such as headaches or eyestrain.

Should I completely restrict my child’s access to screens?

While it’s important to set limits, completely restricting your child’s access to screens may not be realistic or beneficial. Instead, focus on promoting balanced screen habits and teaching your child to use technology responsibly and in moderation.

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