Screen Time and Tween’s/Teens Time
A Closer Look...
In six and a half hours, you can:
Or your average tween/teen can be glued to their phone or device for 6 and 1/2 hours every single day. And that’s not including doing any schoolwork or research.
6 ½ hours a day means that your tween/teen
What are kids missing during those hours, days, weeks and months annually?
Your children are not
Did you know that it takes kids three times longer to learn new material when they learn on a screen versus reading from a book and writing the information down on paper?
Recently, I asked a middle school teacher for his impression of the effect technology is having on his students. He shared that prior to the morning homeroom, all the kids are at their lockers with their heads down, staring at their phones. He said it’s quite the compelling sight as kids get their last fix of their devices before they power down. At the end of the day, they run to their lockers and immediately turn on their phones. Some kids sneak phones into the classroom so they can play video games.
If a child is spending 6 ½ hours a day on screen time, the answer is 6 ½ less hours spent learning and growing.
Kids are not developing a strong sense of who they are, getting to know their strengths, and their vulnerabilities. They never learn how to trust their inner judgement as to what is right and what is wrong. And the result, they walk into a party and don’t know how to determine if that the butterflies in their stomach is actually excitement or anxiety. They haven’t developed an internal thermometer to determine if a situation is safe. This is leading to an explosion of anxiety, depression, and inability for kids to self-regulate. These are critical life skills for kids, and the opportunity to practice these skills and get good at them are being robbed by excessive amount of time spent looking down at a device.
Parents you must pay attention and take action.
Change is hard. We all rely on our devices for so many things. We tend to do many of the same things our kids do!
Setting limits and establishing parameters for screen time is a great strategy for families to be more healthy, happy and productive.
Here are some strategies to get a better handle on the time your children spend on their devices:
Take a deep breath, put your phone down and take a look at your kids. Don’t be scared or weakened by a screaming, sullen or upset child – you are the parent and YOU have the power to say no! It’s not too late to make these changes. I have faith that you can do it! Remember the phone/devices is a privilege not a RIGHT!
Now, go spend some time with your children away from technology
and get to know each other!
Nancy Kislin, LCSW and MFT
Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist