Let’s talk through some screen time basics! 

Screen time expectations are one of those topics I do psycho-education on with pretty much everyone who walks through my door. It’s a topic that comes up in every family and that can be tricky for a lot of us. As parents, we can feel and notice the effects screen usage has on our family: an increase in household fighting, a decreased attention span, a more sedentary lifestyle, less socializing in real life, etc.

But screens are not all bad! They can also bring our kids and family positive experiences. Think of the shared experiences we can have as a family or the safety it can offer us because it enables us to get in touch with our kids when we need to. Nowadays, screens even form a way for our kids to develop their social relationships and increase their independence. Our kids are even able to learn by being on a screen!

The tips and tricks we discuss in today’s episode on the Active & Connected Families podcast, will help you develop a screen time plan that is going to help your whole family work more smoothly. 

Screen time basics: tips & tricks

  1. Be realistic about your own screen usage and don’t be afraid to acknowledge this to your kids. It’s not just our kids who use screens in the house, is it? We’re all a little addicted in our own way. And if you’re not happy with what you’re doing and struggle making changes on your own, make sure you get the help and support you need to be able to show up as the parent you want to be.

“Your phone use is really is important. It’s about who you want to be as a parent and a person”
– Amanda Sovik-Johnston

  1. Set up expectations about phone use before your kid even starts using one. The key here is to set expectations early on. The earlier your do this, the less likely it is for your family to slide into a pattern you’re not happy with. Another great reason for doing this is that your kids aren’t going to feel like you’re taking something away from them because the rules and expectations have always been there.

Screen usage rules in your family

With every family I work with on screen time expectations, there’s a set of rules I help them implement in their family right from the get-go:

  1. Have phone-free, protected spaces.
  2. Family screen-free time for 30-60 minutes a day. 
  3. Set phone-use windows during which your kid can go on their phones or screens freely.
  4. If they want more time later, it has to be with parent permission and only once certain responsibilities are completed.

In today’s podcast episode, I dive deeper into what these rules can look like exactly and how you can implement them in your family. You can find our podcast Active and Connected Families wherever you listen to your podcasts, or easily click the links below to listen:

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In this episode on screen time basics, we discuss:

  • The effects screen usage has on our kids and families;
  • The positive things screen usage brings us and our kids;
  • My top tips about screen time;
  • Four rules I help families implement from the get-go;
  • Some pro-tips;
  • And much more!

More about Active & Connected Family Therapy

Active & Connected Family Therapy is a mental health practice serving individuals, families, and our community. Our practice is designed to help people at all stages and from all walks of life by offering therapists and physicians with diverse backgrounds and specialties via face-to-face, walk-and-talk, and telemedicine appointments. Throughout, we are committed to developing strengths-based, authentic, and long-lasting relationships with you and your children. We hope to provide you with the support and insight you need to help your family navigate life’s hard times and joys.

Are you or your child struggling with mental health? We have a team of psychologists and psychiatrists who can help you out. You can learn more about our practice or contact us here.

Resources and links mentioned in this episode

Disclaimer: Please remember we are real live therapists, however this is a podcast and is not considered a therapy session. Not only because there is no co-pay but also because we can’t speak to your individual experiences. We are here to help you keep raising healthy kids. And remember, if you are an imperfect parent, we are right there with you. If you or someone you love is in immediate danger, please call your local crisis hotline or go to your nearest emergency room.