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Managing Screen Time for Elementary Age Children

Posted by Christen Barbercheck on


Phones, iPads, laptops, and the like have plenty of great things about them.  

As an educational tool, the benefits are bountiful.  

With an internet connection, you have access to an encyclopedic and comprehensive compendium of knowledge.  

However, on the other hand, there is a whole lot of entertainment and “infotainment” that can be a huge time sink for children.  

You don’t have to be a child to be susceptible to these time sinks, but children are certainly more vulnerable to them, on average.  

Video games, Netflix shows, YouTube videos, TikToks, and more offer good fun—in moderation.  


What Too Much Screen Time Does for Children 

A recent study shows that too much screen time can actually be detrimental to the emotional development of children 

Additionally, the Mayo Clinic has listed some quite troubling symptoms associated with “[t]oo much screen time and poor-quality programming”: Obesity, inadequate sleep schedules and insufficient sleep, behavior problems, delays in language and social skills development, violence, attention problems, and less time learning.  

Helping children manage screen time and develop self-regulation with respect to devices, can do wonders for their health. Read on for some suggestions for helping your children manage screen time.  


Set Screen Limits on Devices 

Devices such as iPhones have Screen Time programs installed on them that can allow you to set constraints.  

You can set a particular time limit per day. So, 30 minutes per day on Safari can be good.  

What children can access during screen time can be controlled as well. You can outright ban certain apps, such as Instagram. Additionally, “safe search” should be switched on.  


Use the Time Timer Visual Timer for an External Visual Reminder  

The physical, non-digital disk of a Time Timer product can be a great time management tool.  

Having a Time Timer visual timer in close view of your child can serve as a reminder from the “outside world” while engrossed in whatever is on the screen.  

The particular reminder is that there is only so much time left for screen time. This gives your child the opportunity to self-regulate and manage their time independently. No more fights of “five more minutes,” because when the disk is gone, time is up! 


Encourage “Unplugged” Time 

This can work for young and old children alike.  

We mentioned a list of the downsides of excess screen time and poor quality programming (e.g., entertainment that only requires passive viewership). Be frank with your child about the danger of giving too much of your time and attention to these things.  

Let them know that not everything they see online is trustworthy or acceptable, even if they see it with a safe search on.  

Conversely, having a positive attitude toward “unplugged” activities like socializing, exercise, playing outside, and reading can have a deep impact on children, even if they are in a phase where they don’t care what parents approve of or like.  


More Great Time Management Products from Time Timer  

Hopefully this article has provided you with some insight for helping your children or students better manage their screen time.   

Time Timer products have been essential for creating success in homes and classrooms around the world, with a variety of uses for Time Timer products for people with special needs.  

Check out the rest of the Time Timer products, which includes the Time Timer Wash, a great handwashing aid for creating a healthier school or home environment. 


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