How Much Screen Time is Too Much for Your Kids?

Experts say too much screen time can harm children, and your entire family.

But technology might not be all bad for kids.
Days at Brighter Beginnings Preschool are filled with activities, reading, songs and occasionally, playing with an iPad or two.
“Probably once a month,” says Brighter Beginnings owner/teacher Kimberly Larson. “I know they probably get a lot of screen time at home, but I do know that some kids aren’t offered that opportunity at home, so I try to integrate it here.”
Apps and games are a rare treat for these kids. It’s a high-tech world, and Larson wants to start them early.
“Once they get to kindergarten,” she says, “they need to know how to use that.”

She keeps a strict limit in place. Only about five minutes of screen time per student.

 Teachers say kids are always disappointed when it’s time to put away the iPads and computers, but they say it’s a fine line and they don’t want to give them too much screen time.
“I would not encourage more than a half hour a day, especially during the school week.” says Heather Siek, a therapist with The Village Family Service Center.
Siek says too much screen time can make it difficult for children to fall asleep.
It could potentially also cause behavioral problems.
She warns, “When that happens it’s a really, really big sign to us to limit the screen time.”
That’s why Larson makes the most of the limited screen time she gives her kids, downloading educational apps that help supplement current lesson plans.
She explains, “I use it more as a tool to enhance what we’re doing.”
She doesn’t rely on technology. Instead, she teaches these kids the old fashioned way, with lot of hands-on activities and attention.

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