As screens become a bigger part of young children’s lives at home and at school, it’s important to put balance and purpose behind screen time to help them develop key skills and benefit from their screen use. Find tips and advice to help them do just that.
Find simple tips to put balance and purpose behind screen time to help children in Key Stage 1 (5-7s) benefit from their screen use.
Screens are good for creativity
Nearly 7 out of 10 parents believe that using devices gives children another way of being creative for example a child who enjoys dancing, sharing a new routine online with family and friends.
Screens can displace family and homework time
Even at this relatively young age, almost 3 out of every 10 parents say screen time means they have to fight for their child’s attention and over a quarter (26%) say it has an impact on completing homework.
Get engaged and stay engaged in their digital life as they grow. The more you get involved and understand the things your children do online, the easier it is to gain their respect and influence what they do in their digital world.
Also, making screens part of family time, like a movie or an online games night is one way to make more inclusive and engaging.
Take time to help them understand the risks and benefits of using the internet, whether it be discussing what steps to take if they see something that upsets them or guiding them towards apps and platforms that will help them explore their passions and enhance their skills.
Children will tend to model their behaviour on you, so if you encourage them to take breaks when on screens or leave phones out of the bedroom at night, they will follow your lead.
Whatever device your child uses, be sure to make use of free and premium tools available to manage their access to age-appropriate content and review the time they spend on specific online activities.
Often a sign that a child is spending too much time on screens is when they may feel anxiety or stress if they are disconnected or separated from their phone.
Lack of sleep and exercise and no willingness to visit friends may be a sign they need to take a break from their device.
Not all screen time is created equal so it’s important to encourage children to have a healthy balance between passive screen time (i.e watching YouTube) and interactive screen time (i.e. creating content or playing games online).
There is no safe level of screen time but it doesn’t mean that all screen time is harmful. Lack of evidence has meant that experts have found it hard to recommend a cut-off for children screen time overall.
One size does not fit all when it comes to screen time – it’s more about getting it right for your families needs.
See related advice and practical tips to support children online: