Reducing or Eliminating "Screen Time" with Your Elementary Schooler - Delphi Boston Delphi Boston

Reducing or Eliminating “Screen Time” with Your Elementary Schooler

screen time

We’re living in a world where personal devices like iPads and cell phones seem to act as extensions of our children’s limbs. As much as we’d like our kids to play outside or interact with their friends and siblings instead, their lives are being overwhelmed by “screen time.” This means time spent in front of a TV, computer, cell phone or other screen device.

Electronics aren’t all bad, of course, but they can definitely have a detrimental effect on everything from academic performance to social skills when children are allowed to use them without oversight. In order to keep these negative effects to a minimum, here are several ways you can reduce screen time in your family or eliminate it altogether:

1. Should your elementary schooler even have a phone?

Smartphones have become such a vital part of our lives as adults we often don’t think twice about buying them for our older children. Many parents have even gone so far as to buy them for their elementary-school aged children, too. While giving your child a phone can seem like a vital safety or convenience measure, why not consider a non-smartphone? Your child will still be able to call you in an emergency, but she won’t be able to play Candy Crush at school. With an “old-fashioned” phone, you might be able to completely avoid the potential “zombification” effect these devices can create. Your children can’t spend too much time staring at a phone if they don’t have one in their possession in the first place.

2. No TV during the week

This tip goes all the way back to the time of our parents. Even before computers, smartphones and tablets existed in every home, the TV was already annoying parents with its ability to make children zone out. In order to counteract this effect, consider imposing a no-TV zone during the week. Even if homework is done, don’t let your kids watch on school nights. With the advent of easy digital recording (DVR) and on-demand video services like Hulu and Netflix, there is no reason not to wait till the weekend to watch.

3. What activities really need to be on the computer?

There is no doubt some homework assignments and communication activities have to take place on a computer. This doesn’t mean we should let our children have indiscriminate access to one, however. It is far too easy for kids to get distracted by watching YouTube videos or playing online games under the guise of studying. To prevent this, keep a close eye on what your children are actually studying. There’s a very good chance their math homework, for example, doesn’t need anything more than pencil, paper and a digital calculator. Don’t let your kids convince you they need to be staring at their laptops or phones when it really isn’t necessary!

Screen time doesn’t have to take over your family’s life. If you want your child to attend a school that helps your family take back its time, talk to Delphi Academy of Boston’s Admission Department about making a big change.

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