Learn how to protect your child’s privacy in the new normal
How much should I control my children’s internet or screen time?
Habiba: Setting limits on screen time for kids isn’t always easy in today’s screen-filled world, especially due to the wide variety of screen-time activities. For example, during the pandemic, the way our children learn and interact has significantly changed, and digital learning has been essential for educational development across the world. With that backdrop, adding up how much time they need for all activities, including learning and leisure, could determine what constitutes a reasonable limit for screen time for children at different development stages.
Ana: Firstly, I would start with not using the word “control” and instead consider a more positive term, like “balance” or “management.” Younger children need more guidance and limitations than older ones. For youths, being online is important on so many levels; information, entertainment, doing homework and more. During the pandemic, being able to meet friends online has been vital!
It is also possible to be prudent by not focusing on the hours but whether the activity is essential. To find out, talk with your children about what they are doing online and why it is important for them. You might find that you and your kids are online for the same reasons. To build on this point, trying to set limits for your kids can be easier if you reflect on your own screen time. Experiment with periods of no screen time for the entire family. Plan fun activities for the family, so the children experience these offline family times as good times!
Interested in more? We highly recommend checking out the following COS experts-approved resources for parents:
Digiworld – a curriculum designed to help children, aged between 5 and 16, to develop the knowledge and skills they need to navigate the online world in a safer and more enjoyable way.
WHO guidelines for children under 5 years of age
Mobilmerket (only in Norwegian) – a playful and educational exercise that makes your child well equipped for a life with their mobile.
The digital parenting school (only in Norwegian) – experts provide insight and knowledge about children and young people’s lives online.
Bruk Hue (only in Norwegian) – free lessons for teachers to use in the classroom on cyberbullying and cyberbullying developed in collaboration with partner Red Cross.