Ways to limit kids’ screen time this summer

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — School is out and the kids are at home which means they will likely be spending more time on their phones, the computer, or playing video games.

Dr. Nicole Beurkens, a child psychologist, says children ages 2-5 spend an average of 3.5 hours each day watching screens, and by age eight the number has exploded to over seven hours a day.

A study from Preventive Medicine Reports showed that more than 1 hour of digital screen time daily is linked to lower psychological well-being – lower self-control, more distractible, more social problems, less emotional stability, and poor ability to finish tasks.

Most teenagers using screens for more than seven hours a day are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression, anxiety, or have received treatment of some type for a mental health disorder in the past 12 months.

Beurkens says screens are known for changing our children’s brains, causing conditions like anxiety, depression and ADHD. Rather than setting strict time limits on use, establish times and places where devices aren’t used to see better results (and less stress for parents) in the long run.

For more information, contact Dr. Beurkens here.