Reducing Screen Time Burnout

With many classes going virtual for the past few months, the amount of screen time that students have gotten has skyrocketed. Whereas previously they may have had an hour of screen time after school once they finished their homework, now their schooling may be primarily via computer. This can mean a lot of time spent staring at a screen and trying to stay focused.

While kids often love computers and technology, this much screen time can become too much for them. It can also lead to eyestrain, headaches, tiredness, and other complaints. It is important to help your child balance their screen time so they don’t become burned out and can stay engaged.

· Take regular breaks.

Sitting for hours staring at a screen isn’t healthy for anyone — adults or children. Remind your child to take regular breaks, even if that just means looking away from their screen for a minute or two to rest their eyes. When appropriate, let them stand up and stretch and walk around. Eat lunch in a separate space away from their computer and school area.

· Turn off the camera.

If your child isn’t required to have their camera on all the time, let them turn it off when appropriate. They can still watch and pay attention to the teacher and other students, but they aren’t as focused on how they appear. They can stand up, move around, and not be staring at the screen (without being a distraction to others) while continuing to listen and participate. Not feeling like they are “on” all the time can reduce some pressure.

· Work offline.

If there is work your child can do with pen and paper or manipulatives, let them. They can figure out the answer or what they want to write “offline” and then type it in on the computer to submit. When school is over, encourage them to build and create with tangible objects from around the house and take a break from digital activities or games. Read hard copy books from their own bookshelf or the library instead of e-books or online material.

· Practice time management.

Staying focused and getting assignments done in a timely manner can mean less time spent online. When they are dragging things out, it means more time staring at a screen. Help them develop a schedule and work on time management so they can finish their work and do other things. Many students find it’s helpful to do more challenging or less enjoyable tasks first, then move on to the easier or more fun things to wrap up.

· Go outside.

When the weather is nice, eat lunch or dinner outside. Go for walks, or do some PE in the backyard. Let your child ride their bike or lead the way on a nature trail. Draw on the sidewalk with chalk, play on the playground, or enjoy socially distant outside play dates with friends. When screen time isn’t an option, they’ll find other ways to entertain themselves.

· Get plenty of sleep.

A good night’s sleep is not only important for healing and recharging the body, but also for resting the eyes. When their eyes are closed, they’re not straining to focus on anything. It can also help them to relax, destress, and feel more energized for the next day.

Online learning isn’t ideal for every student, and some students have trouble keeping up. Crafting Scholars offers in-person tutoring and programs (with strict safety protocols in place) to support students with how they learn best. They can get the one-on-one help they need to boost their academic success this year and stay on track. Online options continue to be available as well. Contact Crafting Scholars today to learn more about how your child can benefit from our wide array of services during these uncertain times.