Research also says that it’s what’s on your children’s screens that matters—content, not screen time. A recent study at Oxford University says children could engage in over five hours of device-based activities before they’d show any signs of negative impact.
In fact, the study’s results suggest that children who spend between one to two hours a day engaged in television-based or digital device activities are more likely to have better levels of social and emotional well-being than non-users.
Most teens (about 63%) have a healthy relationship with technology, according to a nationwide study conducted by the Social Media and Adolescent Health Research Team at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
Experts say parents should make a distinction between academic and recreational screen time. Do not count screen time spent in online school sessions against your kids when they want to relax and watch TV or play video games.
“Lots of tech-related activities can be beneficial for children, such as ones where they are in touch with their friends or ones—including games—where they develop strategies and bolster creativity. Restricting such activities may not be a good idea,” says University of Zurich communication scientist Eszter Hargittai.
Hargittai and her colleagues surveyed 1,100 first-year university students, including those who grew up with strictly limited tech use and those whose parents had a more laissez faire attitude. They found that kids who were allowed to self-regulate their screen time got just as good grades as those whose parents closely controlled their activity. In fact, those whose parents explicitly stated they were limiting tech to boost academic achievement actually did worse when they got to college. They were free to indulge in recreational screen time unsupervised for the first time and were less able to discipline themselves.
Teaching independence is central to an online school education from Connections Academy. If you think online school might be a positive source of screen time for your child, read more about the top benefits of online school or request information about a Connections Academy school near you.