"Just a few more minutes!" "All my friends are allowed to use their phones all day long!"

Does this sound familiar? If you are a parent, you have probably had to negotiate screen time on a regular basis. The constantly changing digital environment offers vital educational opportunities in addition to amusement. As parents, striking the correct balance becomes quite difficult.

In the current digital era, families' main concern is controlling their children's screen time. Many parents are concerned about their adolescent children's screen usage on an average basis, and it is now important to set reasonable limits. Let's explore strategies for balancing digital activities and encouraging active, family-oriented lifestyles as we dig into the topic of screen time.

What’s the Point of Average Screen time?

Excessive screen time can impact a child's physical and mental well-being. Studies indicate that prolonged tech exposure, especially among teens, can lead to issues such as decreased attention span and potential health concerns. In a society where technology is integral, finding ways to encourage a healthy relationship with devices is vital.

Balancing Screen Time for Different Age Groups

Age- and activity-specific factors influence the appropriate amount of time to spend on technology. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry suggests that children aged 2 to 5 years should have consistent limits, and children aged 6 years and older should have consistent limits while ensuring screen time doesn't interfere with sleep and physical activity.

AACAP recommends that children ages 2 to 5 should have no more than an hour of screen time per day, and that children ages 18 to 24 months should have no screen time at all (with the exception of video chatting). For older children, the American Academy of Pediatrics has created the Family Media Plan, in which parents and kids agree on guidelines and restrictions on screen time.

How to Develop Healthful Technology Habits

Here are five tips on how to help develop healthy tech habits and promote an active lifestyle:

Set Clear Screen Time Rules

Establishing clear guidelines is essential. Clearly communicate the daily screen time limits and the consequences of exceeding them. Consistency is key in reinforcing these rules.

Kids having snacks and doing homework on a trampoline.

Encourage Outdoor Activities

Make time for physical activity to offset screen usage. Whether your children are riding, playing sports or jumping on a trampoline, encourage them to be active. Aim to find an activity that the child truly enjoys, one that doesn’t necessarily feel like working out, and encourage a passion for movement and playing outside. When activities are fun, like bouncing on a trampoline, kids are naturally more eager to play outside and stay active.

“Our family is thrilled with our new ACON Air 16 Sport trampoline! Our kids have been outside, jumping, every spare minute of the day! Early morning (before school), to after school and one last bounce for bath and bedtime! Thank you!" - Jennifer M.

A girl doing a flying cartwheel on an Acon trampoline.

Create Device-Free Zones

Designate certain areas, like bedrooms or dining spaces, as device-free zones. This helps maintain a healthy balance between using technology and other essential activities like meals or quality family time.

Family with three kids outside with a trampoline.

Monitor Content and Duration

Be aware of the content your child is engaging with and ensure it aligns with age-appropriate guidelines. Additionally, utilize parental controls to manage tech time effectively.

Father, mother and two kids laying on an Acon trampoline.

Be a Role Model

Children often model their behavior after adults. Demonstrate healthy tech habits by actively participating in screen-free activities, engaging in outdoor play, and limiting your own screen time.

Child and mother on an Acon trampoline petting a cat.

Consequences of Excessive Technology Use

Overuse of technology is associated with several problems, including potential harm to sleep patterns, physical health, and academic achievement. Families can allay these fears and create a setting where technology enhances daily life rather than takes over it by implementing a balanced approach to computer time.

Addressing Concerns and Finding Solutions

If concerns arise about your child's screen time, it's crucial to address them proactively. Encourage open communication, explore shared activities that don't involve devices, and seek solutions together. Every family is unique, and finding a personalized approach that aligns with your values and priorities is key.

Leading the Way to Healthy Tech Habits

The process of navigating screen time's challenges is continuous. By modeling a balance between digital participation and active, family-oriented lifestyles, parents can establish in their children healthy tech habits. With open communication, unambiguous expectations, and the development of a caring environment, families may thrive in the digital age.

Become a Part of the Movement for Balanced Screen Time!

At ACON, we recognize the value of encouraging families to lead active, healthy lifestyles. Our selection of outdoor gear and trampolines is meant to encourage families to spend valuable time together. Learn to love playing and moving; these are essential elements of a healthy, active lifestyle.