How can I help my child’s social skills after lots of screen time?

Some children will enjoy spending lots of time on screens. If you think this might be making them reluctant or worried about socialising with people in person, you can do some things to help.

Child using an iPad

Help your child to reduce screen time

  • When you can, organise meet ups and play dates with friends – local parks and outdoor areas could be good for this.
  • Think of alternative activities that you can do with or organise for your child that involve them interacting with others.
  • Introduce parental controls and reduce screen time using timers to start to limit the time spent on screens. Speak to your child about why this is important and get them involved in setting timings.

Reassure your child

  • Encourage your child to talk to you. Ask them how they’re feeling about what’s happening in their life. Speak to them about their friends, other people, and how they feel about school.
  • If they feel worried about socialising or being with others, look at strategies to help them manage anxious feelings.
  • Ask your child’s school what emotional support and friendship-building activities are on offer.

Help them develop social skills

There are things you can do at home to help your child develop social skills. Help them practise talking and taking turns and listening. Think about whether any of your play could also be opportunities for learning. See our advice on how to do this. 

We also have advice on how to:

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