Screen Time for Tween and Teenage Students
Did you know that 1 in 4 adolescents said they are “constantly connected” to the internet? While more and more learning activities require technology, too much screen time between school and online social activities can get in the way of other activities important to students’ well-being, including exercise, sleep, and in-person social interactions. Help students reflect on how they can create their plan for taking screen time breaks and decide as a family when screens are okay (free time/earned time) and when they are not (family mealtimes, after bedtime). Social media can be an important place for older students to connect with friends via pictures and texts. However, it can also be a place of distraction, pressure, and the appearance of negative feelings associated with feeling left out or body image, to name a few. Parents can talk with their older children about the positive and negative effects of social media in their lives and develop a plan to help adolescents identify feelings associated with screen time and what to do if the emotions skew more negative than positive.
Although screen time and technology can create feelings of connectedness and increase student engagement with friends and learning opportunities, it is crucial to learn how to balance this with screen-free activities to develop a healthy and balanced lifestyle, even from a very early age.