How Much Screen Time Should Kids Have?


"How much screen times should kids have? My husband and I are constantly in an argument about this. They are 11 and 13. I believe they should only be able to play video games for about an hour a day and TV for about an hour. The rest of the time should be spent reading or playing outside. My husband thinks because they play outside on their own and do sports, they should have as much time as they want in front of a screen, especially with summer here and school being out. What do you do with your kids?"

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The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.

"Try going out with them instead just sending them out. You participating with them might make them more interested. And if they see you watching tv/on some kinda device that can also discourage them and make hem wanna do the same."

"I feel like we should only limit kids screen time if we can hold ourselves to the same standards. We usually try to play for at least a couple hours before screen time in our house unless it’s been a really stressful day!"

"My children can only play video games on the weekends and as for during the week after school and chores they can each watch one show or movie they want. Total anywhere from 1-3 hours depending on if it’s a movie."

"That really depends on your children specifically.
How do they act if you say no? How do they act when its time to shut if off? How do they act after it's been shut off?
As a kid I was never too obsessed with tv….I wanted in on as background noise only. I preferred reading. When I was 5-10? I enjoyed being outside and playing just as much.
We didn't have a computer until I was 14/15….and I used that more to talk to my friends. I'd read between chatting.
I had no limits because I didnt really need them."

"Also take your kids personality into consideration. I hate being outside, I always have. My oldest is not an outside person. He does maybe 30minutes -1 hour outside. You don't want them miserable either because what may be fun to you or others may be unenjoyable for them. His little brother on the other hand could probably live outside and getting him to come in to eat, bathe, or bed is a pain."

"Summer time is kind of a free for all in our house. It’s a very much needed and deserved break."

"During the school year they are only allowed video games on the weekend if we don’t have plans as a family and no tv until all their chores are done after school."

"It's been a rough year on everyone, kids included. As long as their school work is done and grades are good they have unlimited time. I have genuinely good kids though."

"Maybe come to a compromise on 1 hour on games but unlimited tv if they are still going outside and playing? Lots of parents have no screen time, some limit, and some allow unlimited as long as everything else is done like chores and homework. Do what works for you, but obviously this is an issue that your husband and you need to discuss and compromise on. Maybe you don’t want unlimited but you’re willing to allow more (if you’re not willing to allow more, then that’s a parenting issue between your husband and you because you aren’t willing to compromise but he probably is)."

"I think it needs to be looked at as a whole. What are you doing? Are you on your phone a lot of the time, even between doing other things? Are there reasonable things for the kids to do? There aren't a ton of kids outside to just "go play" with anymore. And a bored kid can cause trouble. So I would try to get some family activities and as long as they are doing what they need to do (school, chores, sports, other activities), they can do what they want to do. Good luck."

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