Kids & Screen Time

This edition of Mentoring Moments is the first in a series called “Cultivating Healthy Families.” How do healthy families handle screen time? Kids are living on their devices—television, tablets, smartphones, gaming systems, computers. Children’s ministers can help families deal with this much-talked-about topic. 

  • Is screen time a bad thing? Why does the church seem to be demonizing it? Screen time can be a very positive thing. 
  • Churches have a chance to turn the conversation around.
  • Start with empathy! Ditch the judgement. 
    • Try to put yourself in parents’ shoes. What are they dealing with from morning to night every day? Really think about it. Write it down!
    • Focusing on empathy like this will change the way you minister to families and kids.
    • Be authentic. Your interactions have to come from the heart with an attitude of humility.
    • Be credible. Build relationships and parents will be more likely to connect with you and listen to you.
    • Be present: See parents. Talk to them. Be active in their lives.
  • “What resources can I give mom and dad?” Don’t overthink this!
  • When we focus on systems, trainings, programs, and the like, we miss ministry opportunities along the way. 
  • Put together a team of leaders and parents who can help. Focus on being parents’ partners.
    • Ask: How do parents set boundaries? 
    • Ask: How much screen time should parents allow?
    • Ask: What should kids be allowed to do on their screens? What should be off-limits on their screens?
    • These types of discussions will yield practical solutions you can share with families. 

Thought Starters:

  • Do you have a negative or positive view of screen time? 
  • How would you rate your empathy to parents on a scale of 1–10? Why?

Resources: