Try for freeTry for free
VideoBalancing Screen Time for Kids

Balancing Screen Time for Kids

Kids and family mindfulness expert Samantha Snowden shares her tips for setting healthy boundaries with screen time — so you can take a break, while also feeling comfortable with your child’s relationship to tech.

Try 14 days free

Better mental health starts with Headspace. Unrivaled expertise to make life feel a little easier, using guided meditations, mindfulness tips, focus tools, sleep support, and dedicated programs.

Try 14 days free
Better mental health starts with Headspace

(lively music) Headspace is here to help kids and families show their mind some love. It's time to take a breather. Hi and welcome to Headspace Breathers. I'm Samantha, a kids and family mindfulness expert. So let's talk screen time. And yes, that includes the one that you're looking at right now. Well today, I'm going to give you some tips for how to set healthy boundaries for kids early on so you can feel confident taking breaks and know that your kids are developing healthy relationships with screens. (calm music) Welcome Kendyll and Rena. Thank you So nice to have you both here. And I know you're doing your school on the computer, right? So you have to be in front of the screen, but what about other ways you use the screen? I can do a lot with my computer I can like do my schoolwork, go on Zoom meetings, but on my tablet, I can play games, watch movies. Does your mom ever say, "okay that's enough screen time or enough games, we have to do something else." Yeah. Sometimes I'll go back on it. Okay. You're not alone. You're not alone in that. We all do that. First, it's important to know how and why screen time affects children differently than grownups. With younger children, screen time interferes with serve and return time. Serve and return names a familiar interaction pattern where young children serve you by directing your attention to something that they're interested in. As a parent, you return their serve by showing interest, explaining something new in their environment, or playing along when they initiate play. If your children are older, excessive screen time can blunt creative thinking and imagination. For them, boredom can feel especially uncomfortable when actually boredom can be the space where creativity and imagination happen. Here's some activities to try together for a healthier relationship with tech. Do you ever share screen time with your family? I think the most fun thing I've done during quarantine is when me and my brother got out in the porch and we sit on our little hammock swing and we'll watch YouTube or Netflix or Disney+. Hangman, Ticket to Ride, Kettle Smash, a lot of games. A lot of games? Yeah Try playing video games with your child instead of forbidding them outright. This is most effective with younger children who are just building their relationship with technology. Getting to know the games that interest them allows you to help them process what they're experiencing and seeing it in the game. What do you like to do with your family, away from screens? Do you love to bike ride? I love going on family bike rides, of course. We play our favourite game Uno. Yeah. We play a lot of Uno. We got to go to the beach and we find like shiny things in the water. Make a plan with your child to do other activities that they enjoy away from...


Duration6 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

    More about Andy
  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

    More about Eve
  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

    More about Dora
  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

    More about Kessonga
  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

    More about Rosie
Your lifelong guide to better mental health

Your lifelong guide to better mental health

Stress, sleep, and all the challenging emotions — care for your mind with the everyday mental health app that's shown to make a difference.

Try 14 days free
Look After Your Mind

Look after your mind

Proven guided meditations and programs to help you stress less, sleep more soundly, and better navigate life’s challenges

Science Backed


Studies show that using Headspace for 30 days can reduce stress, increase resilience, and improve overall well-being

Explore Content

Explore 1000+ 
expert-led exercises

Access our library of meditations, breathing exercises, and guidance videos for stress, sleep, focus, everyday anxiety , parenting, and more.

Member reviews

Hear from some of our members

Your app brings so much peace and tolerance to our home.




Changing my thoughts has allowed me to change my life.




The stress and loneliness courses … taught me how to comfort myself.




Headspace provides me with … a connection to myself, and a disconnection from negative thoughts, feelings, and sensations.




Related to 'Balancing Screen Time For'

Take a Tech Break

Expert Guidance5 min

Treat your mind to a weekly tech-free ritual.

More to explore

Beginning Meditation


Reframe Stress and Relax


New and Popular


Becoming a Mindful Parent

    • Terms & conditions
    • Privacy policy
    • Consumer Health Data
    • Your privacy choices
      Privacy Choices Icon
    • CA Privacy Notice
  • © 2024 Headspace Inc.
  • Terms & conditions
  • Privacy policy
  • Consumer Health Data
  • Your privacy choices
    Privacy Choices Icon
  • CA Privacy Notice