Passive consumption: watching TV, reading and listening to music
Interactive consumption: playing games and browsing the Internet
Communication: video-chatting and using social media
Content creation: using devices to make digital art or music
Clearly, there's a lot of difference among these activities. But as valuable as many of them can be, it's still important for kids' overall healthy development to balance their lives with enriching experiences found off screens. These tips can help:
Pay attention to how your kids act during and after watching TV, playing video games or hanging out online. If they're using high-quality, age-appropriate media; their behavior is positive; and their screen-time activities are balanced with plenty of healthy screen-free ones, there's no need to worry.
If you're concerned about heavy media use, consider creating a schedule that works for your family. This can include weekly screen-time limits, limits on the kinds of screens kids can use and guidelines on the types of activities they can do or programs they can watch. Make sure to get your kids' input so the plan teaches media literacy and self-regulation, and use this as an opportunity to discover what they like watching, introduce new shows and apps for them to try, or schedule a family movie night.