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5 Benefits Screen Time has on Kids (it isn’t all Bad!)

Great the positive benefits of screen time, when used in moderation and with balanced limits.

I have a confession. I was a pre-kid mom-shamer. Phew. That feels good to finally admit it.

You may know me as that twenty-something who swore that her kids would only eat organic food.

Or you may have noticed me silently judging you as you gave in and bought your crying kid a lollipop at the grocery store.

Well, I am sure it is no surprise to you that I was also the mom who gave you unapproving glares as you handed your toddler at the restaurant instead of teaching your kids they have to learn to sit still.

Times sure have changed since I had three kids- specifically my views on screen time.

Screen Time Guidelines

Now, before you label me as a lazy mom or no-good parent, I have to say that I have done my research.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends:

  • Toddlers: focus on physical playtime for babies and toddlers and only use educational media with young children 18 months and older.
  • Kids Ages 2 and 5: screen time should not exceed one hour per day and needs to involve the parent who can help their child learn from educational programs.
  • Ages 6 and older: place consistent limits on the time spent using media, and the types of media, and make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviors essential to health. 
  • Older Kids Ages 10-18: the CDC recommends no more than 1-2 hours of total screen time per day.

In fact, I still consider myself a pretty “strict” mom when it comes to screen time. However, like everything in life, balance is key. And every family and individual has their own personalized limits.

Learn how to find your family’s screen time balance here.

Part of finding balance is knowing the risks. When overused, studies show that screen time can have negative effects on:

5 Positive Benefits of Balanced Screen Time

Information on the dangers of screen time is everywhere; therefore, I challenged myself to find if there are any benefits to balanced screen time.

That is when I found a unique article published in the journal of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). The article highlights some potential cognitive, social, motivational, and health behavioral benefits associated limited screen time usage.

Is your kid addicted to screen time? Start here to Break Your Kids Screen Addiction.

Mix these study results in with some realistic mom benefits, and you have the following 5 that moderate screen time offers:

1. Educational Boost

“Mom, did you know that the shrimp’s heart is inside it’s head?”, my son asked after watching a nature show on his tablet.

When introduced to the right programs and games, screen time can be both fun and educational for kids.

One study showed association between watching educational shows and improved social behaviors in preschoolers; including higher quality academic performance with lasting effects through high school.

2. Needed Down Time

My kids stopped napping at 20 months old. {Queue deer in headlights emoji}

They would jump right out of their cribs and scream at the door. Even though they wouldn’t nap, they still needed to sit and have some quiet time.

A quick TV program or tablet time helped them slow down and rest in the middle of a busy day.

3. Technical Skills

If I need help with my phone or computer, I know who to go to.

All of my children have developed technical skills that far surpassed mine. They know where to click and why.

Since 70-80% of careers require some level of computer usage, I feel these skills could help them in the future.

4. Social Interaction

In addition to the above positive benefits of screen time, consider how it can help with long distance relationships. Who hasn’t used their screens to connect with friends and family over the past few years?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently released a statement that noted that screen time can be used to enhance social connection and community participation. Allowing your kid to use their device to communicate with trusted people can offer a great opportunity to connect with others.

Of course social media can be a dangerous place for kids; therefore this must be monitored. Click here for 7 Mandatory Social Media Rules for Kids and Teens.

5. Gives Mom a Moment to Recharge

Here me out. Screen time can INDIRECTLY effect children in a positive way by giving mom a moment to recharge.

I am a much better mom when I feel focused, relaxed, and in control.

You are not selfish or lazy if you encourage your child to safely rest using screen time so that you can take a moment to catch your breath. Your kid will appreciate it when you approach them with love and excitement after a necessary moment to yourself.

Final Thoughts on Positive Benefits of Screen Time

Not only does screen time (not exceeding the recommended limits) have some benefits for your child, it also gives parents the opportunity to teach their kids about moderation.

When you fully deny your child of screen time, they will not have the skills to control their own technology usage as the grow up.

Next time you feel shame related to your kid’s screen time, remind yourself that you are simply raising well-rounded, responsible, and technical kids. Or- you are taking a much needed breath, and there is nothing wrong with that.

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Thursday 21st of April 2022

[…] You May Also Like: 5 Benefits of Moderate Screen Time Usage for Kids […]

sumit walia

Thursday 29th of April 2021

a very balanced article and indeed your true confessions give authenticity to your line of thought. Quite a number o takeaways from article especially the benefits that can be accrued from regulated screentime for children


Wednesday 28th of April 2021

that's a huge confession! I do understand parenting is never easy and you can not be flawless, no never


Wednesday 28th of April 2021

For kids, they might use it for homework, studying, or socializing with friends and family. “Some screen time is essential. It helps us with cognitive skills, communication and at times, [is] very stimulating to our brains.

Cynthia Nicoletti

Wednesday 28th of April 2021

It is so important to limit all children with screen time.

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