During school closures, families have let go of some screen time rules, so their kids can learn, socialize, and entertain themselves. That’s okay. As an educator and parent, I support my teens’ device use (before and) during the pandemic.
My general rules:
- screen activities in which learning and creating occur are beneficial!
- socializing and more passive activities such as YouTube viewing are fine, in moderation.
I don't fight with my kids about screen time, nor try to control their device usage. Screens are part of our world now, and we must learn to live with them. I want my teenagers to learn to self-regulate and find a healthy balance of screen / no screen time, and how they choose to use devices, while they're under my roof.
Regardless of whether or not parents share my views, here are some ways to work with your kids in the coming weeks: 1) Discuss location use, and schedule for use of devices with your children. Set rules together. 2) Talk about issues around privacy, permanence of activities & online behaviour, and dangers online. 3) Talk about online pornography and violence, and what to do if kids have seen "too much.” Keep conversation open. 4) Identify the purpose and benefits of each screen activity: learning, creating, socializing, relaxing, gaming. What do you think about screen time during the pandemic?
For more tips and resources during school closures due to the COVID19 pandemic, check in with our COVID19 Resource page for our regular update.