Should Parents Limit Screen Time During COVID-19?

Esther Bailey

Dec, 2022

Parents are facing a difficult period, especially now with all the family stuck at home together. Kids are searching for things to do and internet consumption is sky rocketing, should parents limit screen time during COVID-19?

In regular times we talk about how parents need to restrict the usage screen time for their kids. It is well-known that too much screen time for kids is dangerous. It also known that too much screen time has severe health implications such as intense arousal, sleep disorders, low physical activity, obesity and diabetes and also of course psychological side effects. Kids that are addicted to screens are frustrated, and so are their parents, and slowly become aggressive and has focus problem. Kids tend have real nervous breakdowns and outbursts just like a junkie when the screen is taken away. Additional problems can be lower empathy level to others, lower motivation, anxiety and even depression.

But having said that, today (mid COVID-19 crisis) we are required to think differently. We are in the “no choice” period, where parents need to deal with numerous day to day task and issues such as work, cook, clean, etc. and still finding ways to occupy the kids, and this is a deadly combination.

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In today’s context we do think that looking at this overdose of screens and their consumption as something therapeutic, think of it as recreational cannabis. Of course addiction to such things just like other addictions has its toll but in special situations like medical situations or severe pain the benefit increases the cost. This is how we should be looking at the screen addiction now days, the pluses outweigh the negatives and more importantly keeps our sanity, even if only temporarily.

So should kids be with screens 24/7?

Simple answer is no. In this period of limitations, social distancing, uncertainty, rapid regulation changes and increased anxiety we should work on creating a clear daily agenda and routines for our kids. The routine helps organize the kids both externally and internally, with older kids you should create the daily schedule together. And it is very important to make sure you work accordingly to the set schedule and the routine else it cannot hold. That said the schedule can be flexible to match the daily uncertainty and unplanned things that we as parents need to take care. With that in mind, if your kid has completed an hour long learning exercise it is totally fine to show flexibility and let them have some more screen time which would be very comforting on one hand and allow them to re-energize for the next tasks.

Important to remember that we, as parents, also need to make sure we limit our own screen time during COVID-19 and are not spending all day in our phones or on other screens and we also have a daily routine. Our leadership as parents is set by personal example.

If you do wish to limit and control better the time your kids spend on their screens you can check out our best parental control apps.

If you do not limit the screen time you should read our 4 tips for efficient screen time during social distancing.

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Parental control software is an app that is downloaded to a master phone (usually a parent’s phone), with other apps either secretly (or not so secretly) downloaded to the target (usually, your children’s) phones. The apps then track, monitor and even secretly screenshot or record the target phone’s, with a variety of features to ensure you're kept in the loop of what your children might be doing with their devices.

Because there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and you get what you pay for. To our knowledge, any parental control software that has a free plan either isn't worth the time, or will be so severely limited in what it can do that it becomes useless as a parental control tool.

It depends on the specific parental control software you use, but otherwise, yes. Most devices and operating systems are supported, including our remember parental control software for you, above.

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