How much time is too much time on smartphones and tablets? Most would say once it starts to cause noticeable undesirable behavior. Too much screen time among your family could be showing itself in several ways each with its own downside.
The checklist below can help you to decide if your family is spending too much time in front of a screen.
- Arguments about when to put phones away
- Little to no physical activity, instead spending time glued to the screen
- Impaired sleep/ going to bed late due to looking at screens before bed time
- Limited social interaction at dining table – playing with phones instead of talking
- Becomes irritable when the screen is not near them
- Refuses to eat when not in front of a screen
These are some of the common tell-tale signs that your family is spending too much time in front a screen. More serious health and behavioral issues can develop if these are not addressed.
If you are finding that you can relate to the problems above it could be the time to address the problem with your family. Take the time to discuss with your family what the problem is, why it is a problem and how as a family you can make changes. Emphasise the benefits of changing the behavior for each family member - its much easier to affect change when self interest matches group goals.
Set goals together to get buy-in and make it an inclusive project, you want to avoid the changes feeling like they are a punishment for doing something wrong. When things are seen as a punishment there is push back and rebellion, working towards something together will bring you closer together and reduce tension of lifestyle changes.
A good place to start with new rules and changes is with our essential rules for screen time article. Here you will see some simple rules that can form the basis of positive screen time usage.
Pixel Pounds can help you set fair goals, and help you to limit your family’s screen time usage.