Simply Nerdy Mom: 8 Rules For Safe Screen Time

Thursday, April 15, 2021

8 Rules For Safe Screen Time

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Almost every parent goes through this these days, but it doesn't mean that it's an easy thing to go through. Setting rules and boundaries for screen time - as the kids get older, these are needed. For most people, they allow their children to set their own boundaries, but the draw of screen time can often be too tempting for a child to self-regulate, and this is where the boundaries make sense. As parents, we have to accept that while we would prefer our children to be using coloring pages and play outside, it's not always easy to do this in a digital world. Children are growing up with technology, and to keep them from it will be doing them a serious disservice. Between the computers, tablets and smartphones out there, we are spending more time than ever on screens, and it's important that we have rules in place to ensure less screen time and more face time with the children.


This is a collaborative post


Now, there's nothing wrong with being plugged in, but if your children are relying on being plugged in to entertain themselves, then the boundaries that you put in place will help you to establish rules that make sense for everyone. Screen time can be enjoyed by all when there are the correct rules in place, and technology is changing the way that we communicate, play and more. So, you need your children safe, and you need balance, and for that, we've got eight rules for safe screen time for you below.



  1. Limit time. Children should be allowed to be on screens each day, but you need to have boundaries on time and it's not just because they will need to have a break for the sake of their eyes. Tired children drop tablets and smartphones and they get clumsy. While I'm sure every parent wants to spend time at the cell phone repair shop (not), it's better for your wallet if you limit the time they spend on screens so that they don't get too exhausted with them. Children need to remember that they have to balance their activities, and too much time on screens can lead to eye strain, broken technology and a dependence on it. Make your first rule a time frame in which they can play.

  2. All devices are equal. Rule two should recognize that from the smartphones to the TV, devices are equal. You may say time on screens is up and when you do, you should flick the TV off entirely, too. Turn them toward books, puzzles, outdoor fun and simply using their imaginations. Children do not need to be constantly entertained by you - not when they can learn to entertain themselves.

  3. Passwords are a must. Drumming it into the children the importance of staying safe online from predators is vital. Passwords must be family based and shared together, and children under 13 should not be on any form of social media for their mental health protection. You have to set a good example and ensure that your children are sharing their passwords with you so you can keep them safe.

  4. Don't be disconnected. When your children are awake, limit your own screen time. Don't banish them from their tablets only to personally scroll mindlessly yourself. That is rule 4. As a parent, offer eye contact, bake with them, take them to the park. You need to get out and about and that means paying attention to your children and connecting properly.

  5. Sun's out? Tech off! When you are sorting time to allow for technology, make it a rule that the sun being outside means so are the children. They need to be outside getting muddy and having fun, and this is a great way to establish boundaries.

  6. The one hour rule. Rule six should surround the hour before bedtime. All screens should be shut off properly and children directed to reading or quiet play. They need to power down properly for bedtime, and that means electronic curfews. To that end, all technology should be out of the main bedrooms - including TVs. Children need to fall asleep properly and they need to be away from screens for that.

  7. Create filters. Safe scrolling and safe play means only using family friendly apps and games. What your children can access will affect their everyday life, and you should ensure that you do what you can to protect your children online. Add filters to all devices and you'll ensure your children are safe.

  8. Say yes. Building trust with screens is important, so allow your children the string of independence to help them to self-regulate. The more you do this, the more they can learn to build their own identity and gain your trust together. Screen time isn't going anywhere, so keep them safe while they scroll.




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