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How Can Parents Encourage Healthy Screen Habits for Children

As technology becomes increasingly prevalent in our daily lives, it is important for parents to understand the potential effects screens can have on their children and to create healthy screen habits. Excessive screen time can lead to a number of negative consequences, including sleep problems, social issues, and reduced physical activity.


By creating healthy screen habits, parents can help ensure that their children are not exposed to these negative consequences and that they have a balanced and healthy lifestyle.  Let’s explore some healthy screen habits and provide tips on how parents can keep their little ones from having too much screen time.


Establish screen-free zones

Designate certain areas of the home, such as the bedroom, as screen-free zones to encourage other forms of relaxation and entertainment. This can help reduce the temptation for children to engage in screen activities during non-designated screen time, which can lead to a better overall balance between screen time and other activities.

In addition, establishing screen-free zones can help promote better sleep hygiene. The blue light emitted by screens can disrupt the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, making it more difficult to fall asleep. Children are more likely to get a good night’s sleep by keeping screens out of the bedroom, which is important for their overall health and well-being.


Set limits on screen time

Determine a reasonable amount of screen time for your child based on their age and create boundaries around this time. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under two years old have no screen time and that children ages 2 to 4 have no more than 1 hour per day. For older children, the AAP recommends limiting screen time to 2 hours or less per day. By following these guidelines, parents can help ensure that their children are not over-exposed to screens and that they have a healthy balance of screen time and other activities.

The following techniques can help establish limits on screen time:
  • Set clear rules and boundaries around screen time: Make it clear to your child when they are allowed to use screens and for how long. Consider using a timer to help keep track of screen time.
  • Create a screen-time schedule: Designate specific times of day for screen time and stick to the schedule. This can help ensure that screen time does not interfere with other activities, such as homework or bedtime routines.
  • Use parental controls: Many devices and apps offer parental controls that allow you to set limits on screen time and block inappropriate content. Take advantage of these tools to help enforce screen time limits.

Encourage alternative activities


Offering alternative activities can help parents establish healthy screen habits for children because it provides children with other options for entertainment and helps reduce the temptation to turn to screens for all forms of entertainment. By providing a variety of activities and hobbies for children to engage in, parents can help ensure that children are not overly reliant on screens and that they have a balanced and healthy lifestyle.


In addition, engaging in alternative activities can have a number of benefits for children’s development and well-being. For example, reading and participating in arts and crafts can help improve children’s literacy and creativity skills. Engaging in sports and other physical activities can help promote physical fitness and health.


Practice what you preach


As a parent, model healthy screen habits by limiting your own screen time and demonstrating the importance of balance. Setting a good example can help your children develop healthy habits and a healthy relationship with screens. 

Tips for keeping little ones from having too much screen time:
  • Keep screens out of the bedroom: Removing screens from the bedroom can help reduce the temptation for children to engage in screen activities during non-designated screen time.
  • Make screen time active: Encourage children to be physically active while using screens, such as by standing or dancing while watching a video or playing a physically-active video game.
  • Choose educational content: Select educational or age-appropriate content for children to watch or interact with on screens.
  • Use screen time as a reward: Consider using screen time as a reward for completing tasks or engaging in other activities rather than as a default activity.

By creating healthy screen habits and setting limits on screen time, parents can help ensure that screens do not have a negative impact on their children’s health and well-being. By providing alternative activities and encouraging physical activity during screen time, parents can promote a balanced and healthy lifestyle for their little ones. If you are in Houma, Louisiana – or the surrounding parishes – contact the caring, knowledgeable staff at Pelican Point School today for more information about how to keep your children safe, healthy, and happy in a nurturing environment.

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