The Effects of Too Much Screen Time for Kids


Electronic devices have become a common feature of children’s lives. Mobile devices, tablets, and the internet are inextricably linked to their daily lives. 

Today’s parents are the first generation tasked with figuring out how to limit screen time for their children. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, kids between the ages of 8-10 spend an average of 7.5 hours each day in front of a screen.

Even though there are benefits to children using technology, too much screen time can be harmful.

Adverse Effects of Screen Time

Impact on Sleep

Many adults watch television to wind down after a busy day. However, when children have screen time before bed, it can have the opposite of the desired effect. If your child has trouble sleeping, screen time too close to bedtime may be to blame.

Behavior Problems

Children can become desensitized to violence after watching violent shows, watching movies, listening to music, or playing video games. They may also begin to imitate what they see on the screen resorting to violence to solve problems.


When children spend several hours of their day in front of a screen, their physical activity is reduced. A sedentary lifestyle can be a risk factor for becoming overweight.

Learning Struggles

Educational games and apps are a great way to provide supplemental learning for children. However, excessive screen time distracts children reducing their ability to concentrate. Children who spend more time on screen typically perform lower on critical thinking and language test.

Delayed Developments

Children with excessive screen time are likelier to have speech delays. Likewise, too much screen time may negatively affect your child’s social and emotional well-being.

Damage Mental Health

Kids who spend more time in front of a screen are more likely to struggle with mental health. Technology is often used to distract children from a problem rather than allowing them to figure it out and learn to resolve it themselves.

How to Manage Screen Time

Telling your child to turn off their device while you’re on your device won’t do anyone any good. Be a good example for your child and set healthy limits on your electronic use for your and your child’s sake.

Create a Family Screen Time Plan to establish healthy habits for your family.

To reduce the amount of time your family spends on screens:

  • Set downtime for all devices—a specified time when all devices are put away.
  • Limit when and where devices can be used – no bedrooms, not at the dinner table, not in the car, etc…
  • Use parental controls to maintain consistency with screen time limits.

Providing a structured home where children can learn healthy screen habits will help them become sucessful and healthy adults.


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