Originally Posted by parentin20thcent
I gave them a list. 1 hour playing in their room with music playing....
I am sure this depends on age and temperament, but I have always preferred not to impose parental limits and/or dictate how my kids spend their time. Instead I teach them how to recognize what is a healthy balance for them, help them design strategies to maintain that balance and explore what it is they enjoy doing. I think that when we control this for children, we interfere with their opportunity to develop self-regulation and discover interests.
I would encourage anyone grappling with the issue of screen time to read this article
(and the studies and commentaries it links to). In a nutshell there is evidence that high levels of screen time are associated with obesity, reduction in outdoor play and reduced academic performance but only if the screen time consists of (passive) TV watching
. If you extrapolate and say that other types of screen time must surely carry the same risks, you are making a logical error. It is the passivity of TV that is largely responsible for its negative influences, not the fact that it is displayed on a screen. Non-passive forms of screen time (touchscreen apps, gaming, coding, social media, internet exploration, research etc.) show no such negative associations.
Because this sort of research takes years to complete, we are only just beginning to see good quality studies done on screen time constituted by gaming, the internet and mobile devices. And surprise, the negative associations begin falling away once you're no longer talking about TV.
I have always felt this in my gut: our children's worlds are different in terms of quantity of screen time, but also in terms of the nature and quality of that screen time
. It is a mistake to equate TV with user-driven, active, creative, social use of technology as it exists today. I think there is much good that can come of observing kids' use of tech devices free of outdated biases and fears, and supporting them from the side rather than controlling from above as they find balance in their lives.
And I would agree with those above: if you see a need to limit screen time in your family, just explain the rules and provide alternatives.