Should you be worried about your kids having more screen time during the pandemic and with virtual learning?

With pandemic learning, online school, and hybrid school models in full swing, screen time has increased for adults and kids alike. Like any good parent, you may worry about just how much time your child is spending online. Check out this video from Show Me Hope as

Candis Boily shares reflections and tips on this topic, based on this blog post by Dr. Natasha Burgert. Check out this full synopsis in this video.

Dr. Natasha Burgert offers a more realistic approach to the controversial screen time topic in our pandemic world. Check out these do’s and don’ts for screen time with your kids. 

  1. Change your language: instead of “limiting screen time,” lets “protect human time.”
  2. Take short screen breaks: whether it’s from virtual learning or free time, tell your kids to move their bodies, get outside, or talk to someone for better physical/eye health and mental health
  3. Watch tech safety: try to keep screens in a common place so you can keep an eye on what your kiddos watch 
  4. If a day will require more screen time, set up apps that encourage creativity and connectivity: try for great ideas and suggestions
  5. Learn how to transition your kids from screen time to non-screen time: for kids 14 and older, give them a time limit. For younger kids, sit with them and ask questions about what they are watching/playing to draw them back in. 
  6. Broaden your understanding of screens: Some kids may feel this is their only connection to friends/age appropriate things in a pandemic world. 
  7. Ask questions about unsafe internet viewing: if you find your child on a site that isn’t age appropriate, don’t jump to conclusions. Ask questions about how they got there or why they want to view it. 

And most of all, trust your child’s innate digital citizenship and resiliency. Remember this pandemic and virtual learning will not last forever. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing stress due to the pandemic, call or text Show Me Hope for 24/7 anonymous crisis counseling. We’re here to listen. 

Disaster Distress Hotline: 1-800-985-5990
Tri-County Mental Health: 816-468-0400