Managing Screen Time (for kids and adults!)

There are many studies that prove that too much screen time is never good. This applies to both adults and kids and includes video games, surfing the web, social apps, and television. Lots of people have trouble managing screen time and having ADHD can make it near impossible to know when it is time to unplug. Thankfully, there are a few tools that can help both kids and parents.

Smart Plugs: These wifi-enabled smart plugs can act as “screen time security”, plugging into the wall outlet and housing your electronic device (think X-Box or the wifi router). Set a hard cut off time for the power. They can work with apps or with hubs like Alexa or Google Home.

Screen Time on Apple Products: If you have an iPhone or iPad, utilize the Screen Time feature in settings to set time limits for certain apps or features on the phone, or set downtime parameters. (This is also a great tool to set parental limits and block inappropriate websites).

Set Reminders: Reminders can be set using hubs or on a phone or tablet. Specific reminders like “20 more minutes” or “log off after this game” gives specific warnings.

Sleep Timers: Not just for your tv anymore. If you like to listen to music, podcasts, or audio books at night but have a hard time turning them off, most apps offer a sleep timer option.

With any of these tools, it is important to discuss expectations with your child (or yourself!) and come up with an agreement of how screen time limits will be enforced. Create firm guidelines together that include special circumstances (“I’m finally in the middle of the last level on this game!”) and repercussions if one breaks the agreement. This is also a great time to discuss what is and isn’t appropriate for their viewing, including websites, adult rated tv shows, etc.