Experts Reveal Healthy Screen Time Tips for Parents 

VocoVision, a leading provider of teletherapy jobs and telepractice services for school professionals, and their Director of Clinical Services, Dr. Kathryn Steele, Ph. D., have revealed strategies parents can use to instill healthy screen use habits in their children. 

Research suggests that children aged eight to twelve spend four to six hours a day using screens, while teens spend up to nine hours per day. Dr. Steele says that while screen addiction can have negative effects on children’s developing brains, not all screen time is bad, and that it is important to provide a balanced view of screens. 

Dr. Steele’s top tips for parents include: 

1.      Create a family media plan 

The experts recommend creating a family media plan to set expectations for how much screen time is permitted per day. Be sure to include media-free time in your schedule, including both at home and in public, so your child can practice conversational skills.  

2.      Encourage active over passive screen time 

Not all screen time is bad, according to Dr. Steele, who says children are more affected by what they view versus how much time they spend on screens. She says, “While active screen time requires cognitive or physical engagement, passive screen time does not engage the child in an interactive way. Reading a book on a device is active, while scrolling through social media posts is passive.” 

3.      Limit screen time before bed 

“Do not allow screens an hour before bedtime. Even a few minutes of usage can alter a child’s melatonin release, which will alter their body’s circadian rhythm.” Distorted circadian rhythms can create difficulties in children’s ability to get restful sleep, which is necessary for brain development.  

4.      Manage screen time based on age 

The experts say screen time should be managed based on a child’s age. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends no exposure for infants, one hour a day for children ages two to five, and parental discretion for children six and up. Dr. Steele explains, “If parents notice that a child’s grades are slipping, they are becoming withdrawn, or they lose interest in other activities, screen time is probably too much.” 

5.      Create a no-screen activity menu 

When screens are removed, many children don’t know how to spend their time. Creating an activity menu provides them with options for replacement behaviors. Dr. Steele says, “List preferred activities, or those that are acceptable, so that they will have choices other than using screens.” 

For more information about how VocoVision supports schools and students through remote education services, visit VocoVision. 


About VocoVision 

Founded in 2011, VocoVision’s mission is to find imaginative solutions to ensure that education and special services are more accessible. VocoVision offers a state-of-the-art network that makes it possible for schools and school districts to connect with highly qualified educators and therapists in any part of the country. VocoVision teleservice solutions empower students to experience the face-to-face connections they need to break down barriers and go further than they ever imagined. For more information, visit 

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