How Families Limit "Screen Time"
We had about 30 children in the DreamBox office over the last few weeks, beta testing the upcoming version of our online math learning games – DreamBox Learning K-2 Math. I had the opportunity to talk with their parents about computer usage at home, and got to hear first hand how concerned parents are about the time their children spend in front of the TV, computer, and video games. The overwhelming majority limit their children’s “screen time.”
How Much Screen Time Should Kids Have Per Day?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents limit screen time to no more than two hours per day including television, videos/DVDs, computers, and video games. (About.com has listed some practical tips on how to limit your child’s video game time in compliance with this recommendation.) But almost all of the parents I spoke to felt it should be much more limited than that. I heard that for these families, on average, most kids play on the computer 3 to 4 times a week, for about 20-40 minutes at a time. And in a sign of how self-directed and computer savvy kids are at a young age, most said their child is initiating computer play and very often deciding what sites to visit and what activities they want to do. In some cases, parents allow more computer time for educational activities – which I took as good news for the future of DreamBox Learning K-2 Math!
For more see our post on filling that screen time with healthy programs and games for kids.