How much screen time is good for a 13-year-old?

Reaching 13 years of age, your kid in no longer a small child. They become more rebellious and are easily manipulated by external sources that promise them a relaxed and carefree life. They are easily addicted to the screens and can spend hours playing games, chatting online, watching movies, and more if left uninterrupted. Hence it becomes necessary for parents to restrict the screen time of their teenagers.

Thirteen is the susceptible age at which these rebellious and addictive behavioural changes start occurring, hence a parent must take action as soon as possible. According to experts’ recommendation, a child at this age must be able to engage in recreational activities in front of a screen for at best two hours and not more. This limitation does not apply to the educational activities that a child has to comply with. But as a parent you need to let a child understand that they cannot just search online for everything and must look into other sources for information and recreational activities.

This limit is necessary for several reasons such as:

  • Mental and physical growth of a child
  • Promotion of communication with the outside world and social interactions
  • Reducing passive consumption in front of screen
  • Cutting back on online bullying and negative influences
  • Monitoring the online sources and making sure that the kid uses age appropriate media
  • Ensuring that the child sleeps for proper number of hours and at a proper time.

Though not all forms of interactions with the screen are bad for the child, over usage can lead to degradation of a child’s academic performance and lowering of their interest in co-curricular activities. The best way out is to create a balance between the online activities and healthy screen free activities.

Some of the ways in which we can make the screen time more productive and also reduce the time spent by a child in front of screen are provided below.

  • Create tech free zones like the dining tables. Meals are only served on the table and no mobiles, TV or other such distractions are allowed while eating.
  • Encourage a screen free bedtime routine to ensure that the child sleeps at a proper hour.
  • Indulge in the screen time activities of your child and make sure that they see appropriate things and also to encourage interaction between you and the child.
  • Ensure that the child has screen free activities to indulge in like sports or painting. Encourage them to explore their hobbies offline.
  • Teach the child about internet safety and how to use media safely.

Use parental app Control applications like Kids Place and Kids Safe Browser to ensure that the child has a monitored access to the applications and the internet. The Kids Place application has been designed to be customizable as per the needs of toddlers to teens. You can limit the screen time and number of applications that a child can access through this application. Kids Safe Browser has been designed to let a child browse the internet with internet controls such as web filtering, blocking keywords, blocking categories and more. Integrating the Kids Safe Browser with Kids Place app gives you the much-needed peace of mind as the child can access only the applications and content that have been approved by you.

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