How Much Computer Time to Give Kids
All kids love using the computer, so if you have a son that spends a lot of time using his, you might be getting concerned that it is a little too much time. While a lot of education and studying can be done with a computer, there are also some risks and dangers to using it too much. This information will help you decide how much time is okay for screen time in your household.
The Time Limit is Based On the Individual
One important thing to note about screen time is that it can be different with every child. Your child’s age, maturity, and a wide range of other factors will need to be considered when deciding how long he should spend on the computer. For example, your son might need a little more screen time if he is homeschooled and therefore home for more hours in the day. He is actually using the computer for school work, instead of using school books and library references like kids going to school outside the home. On the other hand, if you feel that your son isn’t mature enough to handle a lot of screen time each day, it may be time to decrease how long he has.
Consider What Your Son Does on the Computer
Also think about what your son is using the computer for when deciding how long he can use it. You can have different rules for different types of computer time. You may let him use the computer for a longer period of time when it is for educational purposes, such as if your school-aged son is playing educational games or your toddler is watching movies that help him learn. For older kids and teens, they might not be using the computer for education all of the time, so this is when you can be a little more strict with how long they can watch YouTube or use their social media.
Monitor Usage, Not Just Time
When coming up with how much computer time to give, don’t just think about the minutes or hours in a day. Monitor what he is doing on the computer as well. It is recommended that your son use a computer in the family room or other common room where a door can’t be shut. This ensures he is being safe and not taking too many risks. As your son becomes a teen, you may trust him with his own computer, but younger kids don’t yet understand all the risks that come from using the internet.