The past year has been a complete lifestyle transformation to what we would consider the opposite of normal. This statement rings true, especially for students, from preschool to college alike. With unlimited virtual offerings, balancing screen time has become a concern for many parents.
The educational system adapted to virtual learning, and while too much computer time is not a new concern, cases are rising. Unfortunately, excessive screen time can be a cause of eye strain, insomnia, behavioral issues, and more.
During this era of virtual learning, it is critical to provide kids with numerous opportunities to close their screens. It is important to stress that during these unprecedented times, a compassionate and flexible approach is crucial. The goal is to maintain a healthy balance of time spent on-screen and off-screen.
Tips To Balance Your Child’s Screen Time
Here are our five top tips for parents with children learning virtually.
- Take a break from technology to have quality face-to-face time. Teach your children to have quality conversations with each other. Socialization is essential as many kids lack in this important developmental area. Stimulate discussions by asking your children how they feel being away from school and their friends, or discuss their worries or fears regarding COVID-19. For more light-hearted topics, try an activity like Table Topics.
- Create screen-free time and zones. Create situations for screen-free time, like during meals or outside breaks. Schedule mini-field trips to get outside the house and think about leaving the phones behind or put them on airplane mode.
- Emphasize watching high-quality entertainment. Choose quality, age-appropriate media to enjoy with your kids. Co-viewing can be a great way to reinforce the concepts or ideas viewed. Help your child understand what they are seeing on the screen and help them apply it to the world around them. For older children, you could view different TedTalks to engage them.
- Make home routines productive and educational. Provide learning opportunities in your own house! Try out a new recipe, teach your child a new cooking skill, or try out gardening together. You can turn everyday home routines into educational conversations about a variety of topics.
- Share a clear screen time plan. Set time limits for your children for specific apps and shows. This becomes especially important now when kids may engage in more computer and T.V. time than usual at home.