Laura Cuesta offers guidelines to combat the abusive use of screens during confinement in The Conversation

During these weeks of lockdown at home, screen time (computers, televisions, tablets, mobiles …) has naturally increased considerably to combat boredom with the numerous multimedia entertainments that are currently available to users.

To help manage this issue, Laura Cuesta, professor at the School of Communications and Humanities at University Camilo José Cela, has published an article on The Conversation platform in which she warns about the consequences of too much screen time, particularly in younger children.

“The first thing to be clear on is that you cannot be extreme (not now, nor under normal conditions), our children are not going to go without screens all day, it would be utopian and unreal, nor should we say that, because it is an exceptional situation, anything goes and they can do what they want and we’ll fix it later,” says Cuesta in her article.

The educator understands that it is very difficult to carry out healthy leisure activities at home. And that problem is made worse depending on the age of the children: “It is less difficult when you have young children, since it is easier to substitute outdoor activities for crafts, painting or drawing, family board games, etc. But when this problem is tackled with adolescents, things get complicated, since most of the activities they want to do are online.”

To find a balance between screen time and online leisure activities, the UCJC professor suggests making “a schedule so that each family can adapt their needs and those of their children to it”. Among the routines that Cuesta advises to do are simple household chores such as showering right after getting up, getting dressed, making the bed, having breakfast, doing homework, helping at home, setting the table, etc … and combining these routines with social media, playing video games or watching a family series or a film.

Laura Cuesta ends her article with a message of optimism: “And remember, don’t get frustrated if one day, or two, you can’t keep your schedules, as you know, rules are made to be broken. The most important thing is that you and your family stay positive and face each new day as a challenge, with hope and enthusiasm”.