Limit screen time – TVs, computers and phones.

Time sitting in front of a screen (including your smartphone and iPad) is time not spent moving or interacting with your family and friends. Healthier people are those that are connected with their families and friends via traditional communication channels – NOT including Facebook and text messaging.

Health experts recommend two hours or less of screen time per day, unless it is homework or work related.

How to control the amount of screen time:

Spending less time in front of these screens can help our family, health, community and the environment thrive.

Here are some guidelines for setting time allotments for yourself and your kids:

  • Before you turn on the TV or computer, stop and ask yourself if you or your children could spend this time being engaged in other activities?
  • Set limits on screen time, this includes the amount of time spent with the phone texting, time on-line (except for school work), and TV viewing.
  • Don’t put a TV or computer in you or your child’s bedroom. Keep them in common areas to monitor types and amount of use.
  • Have a list of activities and games for inside and outside for your children so you have alternatives to watching TV. Keep your hobbies close at hand as well so you have something to enjoy when away from the screen.
  • Don’t have a TV/DVR in your vehicle. Use travel time to talk with your kids, or let them read or draw or just stare out the window watching the surroundings pass by.
  • Turn the TV off during mealtimes. Spend this time engaged with your family.
  • Have a Screen-Free Day where your whole family turns off the screens and “turns on life.” Instead of relying on a screen for entertainment (movies, TV, internet), read a book, play a game together, go for a walk, spend time with family and friends.
  • Use the downloadable worksheet “Screen Time Tracking” to log the amount of time you and your family spend in front of a screen.

First steps:

Use the “Screen Time Tracking” worksheet to begin to understand the amount of screen time. From there you can start to limit it and incorporate other activities into your lives. The recommended amount of screen time is less than two hours a day. Screen time charts are thanks to We Can!

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