How to Reduce Screen Time for Kids: Tips, Strategies, and Benefits

Sharon | January 08, 2024

Reduce Screen Time For Kids

Do you find your kids too indulged with their tabs and smartphones? Then this blog could be handy for you if you want to monitor your child's screen time.

Screen time, the pervasive presence of digital technology and devices in our lives, has become a hot topic, especially for our children. Shockingly, recent statistics indicate that the average American child spends over 7 hours a day on screens!

In an era where screens dominate our daily lives, we as a parent must be mindful of our children's screen time. Understanding the importance of limiting screen time is necessary due to the potential adverse effects on various aspects of a child's well-being, such as speech delays, obesity, attention problems, lower school achievement, risk-taking behaviors, anxiety, and depression.

Through this blog, we aim to empower parents with actionable insights into the benefits of curbing excessive screen time as we navigate through age-specific guidelines. You will also get to know practical tips for effectively monitoring and managing screen time. 

Benefits of Reducing Screen Time for Kids 

Embarking on a journey to reduce our child's screen time unlocks numerous benefits for their physical, mental, and social well-being. Various reputable sources, like the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the World Health Organization (WHO), emphasize the importance of limiting screen time for children. Following their recommendations yields several benefits that can positively impact a child's development.

Better Sleep Patterns: Excessive screen time, especially before bedtime, has been linked to disruptions in sleep patterns among children. Reducing screen exposure contributes to better sleep quality. 

Greater Physical Activity: Limiting screen time encourages children to engage in more physical activities. Exercise, walking and playing around prevent sedentary lifestyles and associated health issues. 

Enhanced Creativity and Learning: Excessive screen use may hinder the development of creativity and critical thinking skills. Limiting screen exposure encourages children to engage in imaginative play and hands-on activities. It also promotes reading, encourages creativity, and enhances their learning experiences.

Improved Communication Skills: Excessive screen time can hinder face-to-face communication skills. Children with less screen time have more opportunities to engage in real-life conversations. This helps hone their verbal and non-verbal communication skills, essential for building strong interpersonal relationships.

Increased Mental Well-being: Overexposure to screens, especially content with violent or inappropriate themes, can negatively impact a child's mental health. By lessening exposure, you can create a more positive and nurturing environment, supporting your child's emotional well-being.

Screen Time Recommendations and Guidelines By Age

Screen time recommendations by age

The American Academy of Paediatrics advises these reasonable screen time restrictions:

  • Infants (0-2 years): No screen time, except video chatting.

  • Children(2-12 years):  Limit screen time to one hour daily. Co-view with your child.

  • Teens and adults: Two hours per day.

Screen time guidelines by age

There are specific screen time guidelines for different age groups because it helps us understand and tackle the developmental needs and potential risks at each stage. For kids, spending too much time on screens can get in the way of essential skills like learning language, especially for toddlers who are in a crucial stage of brain development, where too much screen time might mess with their ability to form important brain connections.

The big idea here is that it's not just about how much time kids spend on screens but what they do on them. Quality matters more than quantity. So, it's a good idea to choose high-quality, educational, and age-appropriate content for your kids when they are using screens.

High-Quality, Educational, and Age-Appropriate Media Recommendations

How to Monitor and Manage Screen Time for Kids

Rules and Expectations

  • Set Clear Expectations and Goals: Communicate the time limits for different activities and devices. For example, limit recreational screen time to an hour per day.

  • Be Realistic and Flexible: Recognize that flexibility is key. Adapt rules based on the child's age, school workload, and extracurricular commitments—balance screen time restrictions with educational and creative screen use opportunities.

Routines and Schedules

  • Establish Consistent Routines: Create a daily schedule that includes designated screen time slots. Consistency helps children understand when to use screens and when to engage in other activities.

  • Set Transition Times: Implement transition periods before and after screen time. For instance, encourage kids to take a break or engage in physical activity for 15 minutes before switching from screens to homework.

Transitions and Cues

  • Provide Visual and Auditory Cues: Use visual cues like timers or alarms to signal the end of screen time. Auditory cues can help children anticipate transitions, reducing resistance to putting devices away.

  • Be Engaged and Attentive: Actively participate in your child's screen time activities. Show interest in the content they are consuming and discuss it with them.

Choices and Alternatives

  • Encourage Offline Activities: Offer alternatives to screen time, such as reading, playing board games, or outdoor activities. Encourage children to make choices about how they spend their free time.

  • Designate Phone-Free Zones: Create areas in the home where screens are not allowed, such as during meals or in bedrooms. This encourages interpersonal interaction and aids in setting boundaries.his helps establish boundaries and promotes face-to-face communication.

Parental Controls and Apps

Now, the crucial question arises. How do we implement these? The solution is to explore parental control tools like Mobicip. These apps provide features like content filtering, time limits, and activity tracking.

Mobicip: A Comprehensive Solution

Mobicip offers a range of features to aid parents in managing screen time. It allows for blocking inappropriate content, setting daily time limits, and monitoring online activity. With a user-friendly interface, Mobicip enables you to customize settings based on your child's age and maturity level.

With Mobicip Screen Time Scheduler, you can:

  • Set schedules for activities like school, homework, and sleep to ensure productive learning and healthy habits. 

  • Block specific apps and websites, and manage screen time during a schedule. 

  • Set daily screen time allowed for entertainment with access to games, social media and movies. 

  • Pause All Devices feature locks all devices instantly for a family time.

How to Encourage Healthy screen use for kids:

Co-viewing and co-playing:

Engage in co-viewing and co-playing activities with your child. Watch educational shows or play interactive games that promote learning and creativity.

Identify and explore age-appropriate apps or educational websites together. Participate in the learning process, providing guidance and discussing the content.

Modeling and Discussing:

Model responsible screen use by demonstrating good digital behavior. Children often emulate their parents' habits, making it essential to set a positive example.

Initiate conversations about online safety and etiquette. Discuss the potential risks and teach your child how to navigate the digital world responsibly. Address cyberbullying, privacy concerns, and the importance of treating others with respect online.

Teaching and Learning:

Teach critical thinking skills to help children evaluate online content critically. Discuss the difference between credible and unreliable sources, emphasizing the importance of questioning information found on the internet.

Encourage children to explore age-appropriate content independently while providing guidance.

Resources and Websites:

  • Common Sense Media ( Explore Common Sense Media for reviews and recommendations on age-appropriate apps, games, movies, and TV shows.

  • NetSmartz ( NetSmartz offers resources to teach children about online safety. The platform provides age-appropriate materials, including videos and games, to educate kids on internet privacy, social media use, and recognizing online threats.

  • MediaSmarts ( MediaSmarts focuses on media literacy education. You can access resources to teach children to critically analyze and understand media messages, promoting a thoughtful and discerning approach to screen time.

  • Mobicip Blog (  Explore Mobicip Blog – your go-to source for digital parenting wisdom! Discover the latest apps and online trends, arming yourself with resources to keep your child safe in the digital world. 


Balancing Screen Time with Other Activities for Kids

Scheduling and Prioritizing:

You can balance your children's screen time effectively by implementing a structured schedule and setting priorities. Create a schedule that designates specific time blocks for different activities, including screen time, homework, outdoor play, and family time.

Rewarding and Incentivizing:

You can develop a token system where children earn tokens for completing chores or homework. Children can then exchange tokens for additional screen time. It helps them see that taking on tasks comes with its own set of rewards, making them more accountable and responsible.

Diversifying and Offering:

Get creative! You can provide an extensive range of alternate activities. Just look around for inspiration. Here's an intriguing idea: create a jar filled with slips of paper, each suggesting a non-screen activity. When children express boredom, they can pick an action from the jar. This promotes exploration and variety.

Examples and Options:

  • Reading

  • Outdoor Play

  • Arts and Crafts

  • Exercise Routine

  • Cooking/Gardening

In wrapping up, remember that reducing screen time is about fostering a balanced and healthy environment for our kids. By incorporating these tips and strategies, we're not just limiting screen time but nurturing their well-being, supporting their growth, and building stronger connections with them. 

Let's embark on this journey together for a brighter, more engaging childhood! And, hey, if you need some tech help along the way, we're here for you. 

Dive into an empowering journey with Mobicip! Try our free trial and see how Mobicip can be your guide to keep your child safe and balanced online. Head to Mobicip now and kickstart this exciting chapter in your child's digital well-being! 


How much screen time is okay for a 5-year-old?

For a 5-year-old, keeping screen time to around one hour a day is generally recommended. This includes watching shows or playing games. But remember, it's more about quality than quantity – make sure what they're watching or playing is age-appropriate and helps them learn and have fun! 

How do I get my child off the screen?

Getting your child off the screen can be a team effort! Start with clear rules, like no screens during meals or before bedtime. Use parental control apps like Mobicip to help your child follow a screen time schedule. Plan fun activities together – games, outdoor play, or reading books. Be a role model by showing them that there's a whole exciting world beyond the screen.

What are the symptoms of too much screen time?

When kids spend too much time on screens, it can affect them in different ways. If you notice your child becoming irritable or having trouble sleeping, it could be a sign of too much screen time. They might also find it harder to focus and socialize, and you could see changes in their mood or even issues with schoolwork. 


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