In a national survey on the use of digital devices among parents, the researchers found that participants spend an average of 9 hours and 22 minutes every day while using tablets and smartphones, computers, and television. The surprising thing: Almost 8 hours of it were spent on personal use! The survey was conducted by Common Sense Media with the participants coming from a wide range of fields and classes.
The bottom line: Parents are as guilty as their children in spending more hours than needed in front of digital devices! Suffice it to say that parents must then become active role models for their children – all talk and no walk will definitely lead to disciplinary issues, if you will. Here are a few tips for parents to keep in mind.
Educate Your Kids About Eyestrain
The first step is education and you can start with the reason why too much screen time can lead to eyestrain and, thus, to frequent visits to Sears Optical. The costs of eye examinations isn’t the main thing, however, here because the risks of eye issues can increase with excessive eyestrain.
Humans blink around 15 times every minute, which evenly spreads the tears over the eyes and makes them less dry and irritated. But when watching, reading and playing on a digital screen, we can only blink about 7 times a minute. The result: Less tears spread evenly, more dryness and irritation.
There’s also the contrast between the background and the text, the flickering of the screen, and the glare from it. These factors add to the strain.
With education, you will have a basis for limiting your kids’ screen time.
Enforce House Rules on Screen Time
Parents don’t have to completely cut out screen time because it will be impractical. Instead, here are a few practical tips to limit screen time yet still get the most out of the digital experience.
- Limit the kids’ screen time to a few hours a day while at home. You can decide on the number of hours depending on the age and needs of the kids.
- Set a limit for yourself as adults, too, and keep to the limit. You have to be the role model here so it’s best to walk the talk.
- Make adjustments to the screen’s settings so that there’s less glare. These can include setting the computer screen about 25 inches away from the face, tilting the screen 10-15 degrees below eye level, and installing a matte screen filter.
- Teach kids to follow the 20-20—20 rule. This means that every 20 minutes of screen time, look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds, or more. Be sure to teach the kids about taking 15-minute breaks every 2 hours.
You, the parent, will be glad to know that when kids are educated about proper screen time, they will likely carry their good habits to adulthood.