At Little Steps, one of our aims is to educate parents on important issues we are facing as families. One that we’ve probably all struggled with at some point is how to manage kid’s screen time and set healthy limits around this. Our kids are often on devices, whether it’s smartphones, tablets, games consoles or simply watching TV. A study in the US found that children aged 8-12 can spend anywhere between four to six hours on screens, while for teenagers it can be up to nine hours a day. With screens a part of everyday life, it’s a question of finding the right balance of screen and non-screen time for you and your family.
We were lucky to interview Arcadia Kim, the founder and President of Infinite Screentime in Hong Kong, a movement dedicated to building a community of coaches & educators and advocate for screen-smart kids. She was formerly COO of US video game company Electronic Arts Los Angeles, where she worked on blockbusters including Lord of the Rings and the Sims. She has an MBA from Harvard Business School and BA from Wellesley College in Theatre & Film.
Below we highlight some of the key points of Arcadia’s interview to help you set boundaries around healthy video gaming with younger and older children.
Children play, learn and interact with these new mediums of the 21st century, and don’t have the same toys and tools as we did when we were growing up. Being a kid means having fun, exploring, and learning and they do this with technology.
Screen time control apps are important. There’s a lot of screen time apps that control screen time, so kids need to ask permission to download and unlock games. Use the screen time control apps to see what your kids are interested in and start a conversation about it.
Parents can’t stay on top of everything and know about everything that their kid plays on, or engages with, online. One may know Fortnite, another may be good on Instagram. Build a squad that you can count on and bounce ideas off without any shame. Celebrate your triumphs when you’ve conquered technology.
Join the Infinite Screentime movement on Facebook here and learn from a community of people trying their best to figure out this screentime challenge together.