Elementary School Kids and Screen Time
During the winter months, our kids tend to spend more time indoors with rainy and snowy days. Some kids are happy reading, doing art projects, or playing games. Many children become attached to their computers and ipads. Kids can spend hours playing online games, texting with friends, watching youtube videos, or watching television. Research indicates that these extended hours of social isolation, lack of exercise, little creative thought, or no participation in team activities can contribute to various mental and physical health challenges. Additionally, many parents lack the skill or time required to provide adequate screen time supervision that ensures our children are safe when using various social media applications or platforms.
Guiding Our Kids’ Screen Time
Common Sense Media at www.commonsensemedia.org provides parents with movie reviews, book reviews, TV reviews, game reviews, and parenting guidance on how parents can manage devices and screen time for families. When teaching parents about time management for kids, I ask parents to document their use of time for each 24-hour period in one week. For example, parents may consider the amount of time spent talking with their children, performing their job at work, completing household responsibilities, exercising, providing community services, socializing, sleeping, and using technology. When reviewing their time management for one week, many parents find that they spend very limited time with their children each day. Most parents are sleep deprived and waste too much time on tech devices each day. When parents consider what they can do to address these issues, most will take the time to talk with their children about their own screen time use and time management weaknesses.
Living a Balanced Life
Through weekly family meetings, parents and their children can strategize how they can support each other’s healthy development. When parents share with their children their personal challenges and model effective problem-solving strategies, they are teaching their children how to effectively resolve personal and family challenges. Weekly family meetings ensure that families will thrive even when life becomes challenging and hopeless.
Much peace and success as you and your children strive to manage balance and loving support for each other in your daily lives.
Mary Ann Burke, Ed.D., Digital Education Expert, is a substitute distance learning teacher for Oak Grove School District in San Jose, California and the author of STUDENT-ENGAGED ASSESSMENT: Strategies to Empower All Learners (Rowman & Littlefield: 2020). Dr. Burke creates digital language arts and substitute teaching K – 12 activities for teachers and parents. She is the Cofounder of the Genparenting.com blog. Burke is the former Director II of Categorical & Special Projects for the Santa Clara County Office of Education that supports 31 school districts serving 272,321 students in Santa Clara County. She is also a previous Director – State & Federal Compliance for Oakland Unified School District, the former Director – Grantwriter for the Compton Unified School District, and was the initial VISTA Director for the Community Partnership Coalition in southern California. Much of her work focuses on creating innovative digital trainings and partnership programs for teachers and families to support students’ learning. These programs were featured as a best practice at a National Title I Conference, California’s Title I Conferences, AERA Conferences, an ASCD Conference, the NASSP Conference, and statewide educator conferences.