Balancing screen time at home looks different today than it did just a few short weeks ago before the pandemic hit the U.S. If you are looking for tips for parents trying to manage the disrupt in regular routines and an overabundance of screen time, Dr. David Greenfield, founder of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction, can offer insight and tips.
Some ways to balance healthy screen time with this new current reality in mind:
- Allow for flexibility. “We’ve been recommending two hours a day of nonacademic screen time,” says Dr. Greenfield. Giving kids extra time to watch movies and chat with friends is reasonable—and shouldn’t be a source of parent guilt—but some rules should still apply.
- Keep some family time screen-free. Kids need valuable face-to-face time now more than ever. Keeping screens away from the dinner table will continue to build the connection you need as a family. Screens in bed also delay and disrupt sleep, especially at a time like this.
- Talk about the shift. Make sure kids understand that this is a temporary adjustment and that life will eventually return to more normalcy.
- Limit the news. There’s a balance between being informed and overwhelmed by troubling news. “Parents need to be mindful of the impact of the bombardment of bad news that they’re hearing via all the news platforms,” says Dr. Greenfield.