These days everyone spends a lot of time in front of screens. If you’re a parent concerned about your kids and their screen time, we’re here to help. Landmark Christian School encourages human interaction and minimal screen time for kids at our private Christian schools in the Atlanta area - Fairburn, and Peachtree City, GA. While there are some learning benefits from TVs, computers, and smartphones, too much screen time can have many adverse effects. When it comes to average screen time, teenagers spent about nine hours a day interacting with media outside of school or homework. Kids between the ages of eight and 12 spend about six hours a day interacting with media, and kids from two to five spend about 32 hours per week in front of screens. Find out more about limiting screen time for kids, and get in touch with us if you have any questions about how we limit screen time at our schools.
Recommended Screen Time for Kids
There are some benefits to watching educational television shows, learning skills on the computer, or playing games that benefit the brain on a smartphone. However, experts agree that screen time should be limited, so it does not interfere with your child’s development. Check out these guidelines based on age groups:
0 to 18 Months – Babies up to 18 months should have no screen time if possible. The only positive screen time for very small children should be video chats with family members. Encourage playing, reading, and personal interactions.
18 to 24 Months – Young children can have some screen time, but that should be limited to watching educational content with a parent or caregiver present. Focus on high-quality programs such as Sesame Workshop or PBS Kids.
2 to 5 Years – Children at this age can start to have recreational screen time, although it should be limited. Kids under five should have no more than one hour of screen time on weekdays and less than three hours on weekend days.
5+ Years – Older kids should be limited on-screen time, but there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Screen time should not interfere with learning, physical activity, relationships with family and peers, sleep, or mental health.
Negative Effects of Screen Time
Some parents tend to think that screen time can’t be all that bad. However, common issues can arise if your children spend too much time in front of screens, including:
Behavior & Learning Problems – TV can calm your child temporarily, but over time it can lead to behavioral problems. Watching too much TV can result in delays in language, cognition, and social-emotional development. Teens who used screens a lot are more likely to be depressed or anxious.
Obesity – Most kids are lying down or sitting while looking at screens. Screen time is time being sedentary which can increase the risk of obesity and chronic issues such as heart disease. Being in front of screens can also lead to snacking.
Sleep Problems – Electronic devices emit blue light that causes sleep problems for children and adults. Teenagers with too much screen time can have insomnia and trouble falling asleep. Don’t let your children use technology right before bed because it can reduce restful REM sleep.
Neck & Back Issues – Looking down at a phone can strain the neck and back muscles. Teenagers who spent a lot of time on their phones can have headaches and backaches.
Violence – Children may become desensitized to violence from shows, movies, music, and video games. They tend to imitate what they see and may be more likely to attempt crimes.
Screen Time & Family Relationships
Using digital devices can harm family relationships. Many children feel unimportant when their parents are using their phones during meals or playtime. Interrupted care by constantly checking your phone could lead to mental health problems for your children, including depression. It’s a good idea to establish some family rules for parents and children when it comes to electronics. Some good rules to abide by include no digital devices during family meals or family fun nights, no screen time in the car, and no screens in bedrooms.
Focusing on Relationships
Landmark Christian School focuses on education and relationships rather than screen time. We emphasize academics, athletics, arts, and Christian and campus life. We seek to determine your child’s passions and develop their talents as God intended. If you want a better education for your child, we encourage you to begin the application process today.
Contact us if you have any questions or need assistance.