Parenting with Screens: Screen Usage Self-Assessment

Chances are you are reading this on a screen of some sort. Screens are now an integral part of life and we hope our children will be technologically savvy. But how much screen time is too much? How can we use it to the benefit of our families? How can we, as parents, become good digital role models?

Although screen use among young children has been linked to many developmental issues – from impacting concentration and emotional intelligence to harming health – it can also be a learning and communication tool. While cutting out all screens is nearly impossible, developing consciousness about responsible screen use can help.

Here are some questions to consider to begin exploring how using screens may be part of your parenting:

  1. How often does your child use a screen (phone, laptop, tablet, computer, TV or other) a day?Is there something else he or she could do instead?
  2. When do you first look at a screen each day? When do you last look at it?How much time do you spend looking at your phone a day? (Your phone may have a way to check this.)
  3. Do you keep phones or tablets at the table during meals?
  4. What family activities do you do that don’t involve screens? What others would you like to do?
  5. Do you ever talk about screen use with your child? Discussing the pros and cons of using screens can help him or her begin to understand and set limits on use.
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