News & Articles

Screen Time Tips for Returning Back to School

By Kara Ettenson, L.M.S.W

Every parent hopes for a solid start to a new school year.

But it’s quite common to expect an adjustment period as children and their families make the transition from summer vacation to going back to school.

One of the biggest issues many parents grapple with is the impact of screen time and its impact on children returning back to more formal schedules that don’t involve television, video games or hand-held smart devices.

According to the Mayo Clinic, too much screen time for children can be linked to: -Obesity
-Irregular sleep
-Attention, behavioral, emotional, and social problems

-Impaired academic performance
-If children have too much exposure to violence through media, they might learn to accept violent behavior as a normal way to solve problems.
-Less time for active, creative play

With that in mind, the American Academy of Pediatrics has some daily screen time recommendations to help educate parents on how to minimize the impact of screen time on a child. The recommendations are grouped by age and can provide a critical tool in keeping your child healthy physically and mentally.

The recommendations are as follows:

-For Babies-18 months, no screen time except for video chatting with an adult.

-For caregivers who want to introduce digital media to children from ages 18-24 months, they should avoid solo media use and instead co-watch educational programs with their child, for less than one hour per day.

-For children from ages 2-5, screen time should be 1 hour or less per day and it should be non-violent, interactive, educational, and prosocial. Instead, caregivers should find other activities that are non-electronic and healthier for their childrens’ bodies and minds and co-play with their children.

-For children from ages 6-17, it is recommended that they have 2 hours or less per day of recreational screen time. Caregivers should ensure an ample amount of time for important things like physical activities and sleep.

The Mayo Clinic also hass some suggestions on how families can reduce daily screen time:

-Eliminate background TV if you are not actively watching a show. -Keep TVs, smartphones, and computers out of the bedroom.
-Don’t eat in front of electronic devices, as it can increase screen time.

By following these very helpful tips, the transition back to school should be smooth and children will live happier, more active, and more balanced lives.


If you still feel like you aren’t sure how to best support your child, teen or young adult. Child and Family Solutions Center is here to help. Please  call us at 248-851-5437 to get  started with therapy services.