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How Much Screen Time Should Your Child Have?

How Much Screen Time Should Your Child Have?

February 14, 2024

Over the past few decades, technology and screen time have undergone a remarkable evolution, revolutionizing various aspects of our lives, with education being a prominent area of transformation. The advent of personal computers in the 1980s marked the initial steps toward integrating technology into education. 

Early educational software aimed at enhancing basic skills, such as math and language, paved the way for a digital shift in the learning landscape. However, the real game-changer came with the widespread availability of the Internet in the 1990s, opening up new possibilities for online research, collaboration, and access to a vast repository of information.

The 21st century witnessed an unprecedented surge in the use of smartphones, tablets, and other portable devices, ushering in an era where screen time became an integral part of students' educational experiences. E-learning platforms emerged, offering interactive lessons, multimedia content, and personalized learning experiences. 

The COVID-19 pandemic further accelerated this trend, compelling educational institutions worldwide to adopt remote learning as the norm. Virtual classrooms, video conferencing tools, and digital collaboration platforms became indispensable tools, allowing students and educators to connect despite physical distances.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning have also played a pivotal role in shaping the future of education technology. Adaptive learning systems analyze students' performance and tailor educational content to individual needs, providing a personalized and efficient learning journey. 

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) applications have introduced immersive experiences, allowing students to explore subjects like never before. As technology continues to evolve, the integration of advanced tools in education holds the promise of fostering creativity, critical thinking, and global connectivity among learners, preparing them for the challenges of an increasingly digital world.

Yes, all these advancements in technology have been monumental. But how much screen time is too much screen time for your child? How much screen time should your child have in a day?

Screen Time Recommendations From The Experts

Determining the appropriate amount of screen time for children is a complex task that involves considering various factors, including their age, developmental stage, and the type of content they engage with. Here are general guidelines recommended by experts:

1) Age-Appropriate Guidelines

Infants (0-18 months):

  • No screen time (except for video chatting with family).
  • Encourage interactive activities and floor time for physical development.

Toddlers (18-24 months):

  • Limited screen time with high-quality educational content.
  • Co-viewing with parents to enhance understanding.

Preschoolers (2-5 years):

  • One hour per day of high-quality programming.
  • Co-viewing and discussing content for comprehension.

School-Age Children (6-12 years):

  • Consistent limits on recreational screen time.
  • Prioritize educational content.
  • Ensure a balance between physical activities and face-to-face interactions.

Adolescents (13-18 years):

  • Set consistent time limits for recreational screen time.
  • Encourage a healthy balance of extracurricular activities, homework, and social interactions.
  • Promote awareness of responsible online behavior.

2) Health And Development

Physical Health:

  • Screen time should not replace physical activity.
  • Regular breaks for stretching and movement are essential.

Sleep Considerations:

  • Limit screen time close to bedtime to promote better sleep.
  • Blue light emitted from screens may affect sleep quality.

Developmental Impact:

  • Balance screen time with activities that promote social skills and creativity.
  • Avoid screens during meals and family time.

3) Types Of Content

Educational Content:

  • Prioritize educational apps and programs.
  • Evaluate content for age-appropriateness and educational value.


  • Limit recreational screen time to ensure a balance.
  • Monitor the content for appropriateness.

4) Setting Boundaries And Monitoring

Establish Screen-Free Zones:

  • Designate certain areas in the house where screens are not allowed.
  • Promote face-to-face interactions.

Consistent Schedule:

  • Set a consistent daily schedule for screen time.
  • Avoid using screens as a reward or punishment.

Parental Controls:

  • Use parental controls to limit access to inappropriate content.
  • Monitor your child's online activities.

5) Open Communication

Discuss Screen Time Rules:

  • Involve children in establishing screen time rules.
  • Explain the importance of balance and moderation.

Encourage Offline Activities:

  • Foster hobbies and interests that don't involve screens.
  • Engage in outdoor and group activities.

Parental Involvement:

  • Co-view content with younger children to guide understanding.
  • Set a positive example by managing your own screen time.

6) Professional Guidance

Consult with Pediatricians:

  • Seek advice from healthcare professionals for individualized recommendations.
  • Regular check-ups to assess the impact of screen time on health and development.

It's important to note that these guidelines are general recommendations, and individual needs may vary. Parents should consider their child's unique circumstances, developmental stage, and overall well-being when setting screen time limits. 

Regular communication with children about responsible screen use and being aware of the content they are consuming can contribute to a healthy approach to technology. Consulting with pediatricians for personalized advice is also recommended.

Finding the right balance for screen time is a dynamic process that evolves as children grow. It requires a thoughtful approach, considering multiple factors to ensure that screen time contributes positively to a child's development without compromising their overall well-being. Regularly reassessing and adjusting guidelines based on individual needs and developmental stages is crucial.

Emmanuel Lutheran School

Emmanuel Lutheran School is an accredited K-8 private preparatory school that provides an academically challenging, Christ-centered education in a caring environment. Our mission is to prepare children For Today, For Tomorrow, Forever.

We exist to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. In order to accomplish this in an educational setting, Emmanuel provides a Christ-centered rigorous education for all children, churched and un-churched, without distinction to socio-economic status, race, national or ethnic origin, or religious creed. 

Our core values at Emmanuel Lutheran School are:

  1. Scripture Alone – God’s revelation of Himself, through the inerrant Word of His Law and Gospel in the Bible, to His most loved creation, man.
  2. Grace Alone – Only by the empowering grace of God can we hope to approach and understand our Creator. His greatest evidence of grace to us is found in His Son, Jesus Christ.
  3. Faith Alone – Having begun to see the greatness of God’s love for us as understood in His Word through the gracious intention of His will, our faithful response comes in areas such as:
  • Our belief in the saving death and resurrection of Jesus Christ
  • Our realization of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit
  • Our foundation that life is of God and, as such, is always precious
  • Our worship of God is active through both corporate fellowship and daily devotions and prayer, and our giving back to God with all that we have and do
  • Our relationships with each other are extensions of God’s love
  • Our excitement over His love for us compels us to make disciples of all
  • Our integrity is seen in every one of our actions

If you would like additional information about enrolling your child at Emmanuel Lutheran School, contact us today.