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Create a Summer Screen Time Plan for Your Family

Create a Summer Screen Time Plan for Your Family
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During the summer, when all the kids are at home and the weather is scorching, it can be tempting to rely on screen time more than you intended. Excessive screen time can negatively impact children's development and well-being. Prolonged exposure to screens, whether from smartphones, tablets, computers or TVs, can lead to physical health issues such as obesity and poor posture. Sedentary behavior associated with screen time often replaces physical activities, contributing to a lack of exercise and increased risk of weight gain.

Excessive screen time can hinder social development by limiting face-to-face interactions - impeding the development of crucial social skills such as empathy, communication and conflict resolution, potentially leading to difficulties in forming meaningful relationships later in life. Additionally, extensive screen use has been associated with negative effects on cognitive development. Excessive exposure to fast-paced, stimulating content can impair attention span and concentration, making it harder for children to focus and learn effectively. Screens can also interfere with sleep patterns, especially when used before bedtime, leading to fatigue and decreased academic performance.

Psychological well-being is also at risk. Excessive screen time has been associated with increased levels of stress, anxiety and depression in children. Exposure to inappropriate or violent content can desensitize children and negatively impact their emotional development.

Moreover, constant screen use can disrupt family dynamics and decrease the quality of parent-child interactions. When screens take precedence over real-life interactions, opportunities for bonding and meaningful conversations diminish.


The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry recommends the following guidelines: 

  • Until 18 months of age, limit screen use to video chatting with an adult (ie: with an out-of-town parent).
  • Between 18 and 24 months, limit screen time to watching educational programming with a caregiver.
  • For children two to five years old, limit non-educational screen time to about one hour per weekday and three hours on weekend days.
  • For ages six and older, encourage healthy habits and limit activities that include screens.
  • Turn off all screens during family meals and outings.
  • Learn about and use parental controls.
  • Avoid using screens as pacifiers, babysitters or to stop tantrums.
  • Turn off screens and remove them from bedrooms 30-60 minutes before bedtime.


Parents and caregivers must set healthy limits on screen time and promote other activities that support overall growth and development. As parents, we must encourage healthy technology habits in our children. Creating a screen schedule can help both you and your child find a good balance between screen time and other important activities.

Here are five simple steps to craft a screening schedule for your child:

  • Evaluate your child's current screen time usage.
  • Set clear rules and guidelines.
  • Engage your child in the decision-making.
  • Utilize a timer or Do Not Disturb feature to monitor time.
  • Make adjustments and reassess as necessary.

You can create a custom media plan for your family at:

By prioritizing mindful screen time management, we empower our children to thrive in a world where digital devices are an integral part of daily life while nurturing their holistic growth and well-being.

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