How much screen time is healthy for children?

How much screen time should your children have - motherhooddiaries

The issue of children and limiting screen time has come about in the last decade, where more parents are using technology as a form of babysitting, educating or entertaining. While I do believe that some screen time aids development, there are some underlying health and psychological issues that need to be addressed. Netvouchercodes recently carried out a survey on over 3,255 parents and found that the overall average time kids spend on their tablets is a surprisingly long 46.8 minutes per day.

Check out this startling infographic below from Netvouchercodes, which also includes advice from various mummy bloggers (including me) regarding tips on kids using tech.

Baby and Toddler Tablet Usage Survey 2017 - motherhooddiaries

Baby and Toddler Tablet Usage Survey 2017. An infographic by the voucher codes website NetVoucherCodes.co.uk


So, here are some of Motherhood Diaries’ top tips on how to limit screen time for children:

Rule of 10s

My boys must complete a 10-minute chore (helping with the dishwasher, tidying their room etc). The completion of the chore earns them 10 minutes on my phone or tablet (YouTube and YouTube Kids are banned (bar a few channels that I have vetted myself), so they are only allowed to play games). They each have 10 minutes to play and then they must pass on the phone to the brother who is waiting. The ‘Rule of 10s’ means that they must earn the use of the gadget and that their limit is clearly stated in a way that they understand – i.e. 10 minutes

Have a complete ban on YouTube and YouTube Kids (unless you’re watching together or you have selected channels that you have vetted yourself)

While this is a personal choice, I do believe that banning YouTube eliminates the growing issue of disturbing and distorted videos these days, even on YouTube Kids. BBC News brought out a startling article last month about how thousands of popular cartoons are now containing disturbing and inappropriate content that are simply not suitable for children. Rather than having to worry constantly about what my kids are watching on the phone, I’d rather limit that possibility and create a ban on YouTube, except for a few selected channels, which I regularly vet to ensure nothing sinister filters through.

Watch together

Kids watching phone together - motherhooddiaries

If my children really want to watch something rather than play a game, then I put on a movie or a popular TV series (which I vet first) and we watch it together, so if there is anything untoward, I remove the issue straight away. Plus, I am also aware of how long screen time is and therefore, I can limit it appropriately.

There are tonnes of great educational videos and games now, which I do believe really do aid children’s development. For example, I have no problem watching YouTube Videos (with my children) if I believe that they are educational and fun to watch. Some of my favourite educational YouTube channels for kids are:

My main issue is, how much screen time is really affecting our children’s eye health? As this growing technology trend is relatively new, I do not think that we are in a time where we can accurately measure the effects of screen time on eye health yet. So, in thirty years, will we see the real results of this average 46.8 minutes a day that our kids spend on screens? Maybe there are no lasting effects, however, I don’t want to risk my babies’ eye health to find out. Better safe than sorry, right?

If you have any top tips on how you limit your screen time with your children, please do let us know in the comments below.

Subscribe here to be updated with new posts. Don’t forget to tailor your preferences, so you just get the posts you want and need!
If you’d like to share your wealth of experience and knowledge with our community, then you can apply to become a Motherhood Diaries’ Contributor here. Don’t forget to read our Ad Policy.
Leyla Preston (465 Posts)

Leyla Preston is the owner and Editor of Motherhood Diaries global magazine for parents. Leyla is a busy mother of two even busier boys; Aron, 5, and Aidan, 4. When Leyla isn’t feeding, managing a gazillion tasks or cleaning the infinite mess at home, she is busy working on this magazine and a new cooking channel coming very soon – no rest for the wicked!You can follow Leyla on Twitter (@M_Diaries) or join the busy Motherhood Diaries Facebook group where all mums get together and share stories and solutions with one another: https://www.facebook.com//groups/motherhooddiaries/


Did you enjoy your MD experience? Please share the love :-)