Screen Time and children can be a touchy subject amongst parents. I am currently in this phase right now. Everyone has their own opinion on how much is too much. Many claim that screen time can impact negatively on the child(I fall in this category), but others point to the positives.
Irrespective of our views and opinions we live in a day and age where almost everything is done digitally including schooling, so rather than resisting the use, we should focus more on setting boundaries on how our children spend time on their devices
ADVANTAGES OF SCREEN TIME
1. Can increase creativity and expressive language
2. Educational Apple and games allow children to learn and develop new skills.
3. Helps them stay in touch with friends and family.
4. Games can help them develop motor skills and coordination.
5. Offer a way for non-verbal children to communicate.
DISADVANTAGES OF SCREEN TIME
1. Can be addictive
2. Can slow language development.
3. Can increase stress and anxiety.
4. Keeps them sedentary.
5. Can impact sleep negatively.
HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH SCREEN TIME
Unfortunately, there is no definite answer when it comes to setting parameters(restrictions) for screen time.
It all comes down to how the time is being used and if its interfering with other activities.
HOW TO LIMIT SCREEN TIME FOR CHILDREN
1.LAY DOWN RULES:I start by having an open and honest discussion with them instead of imposing new rules which I’ve discovered doesn’t work.I make them part of the decision process stating out the dangers of too much screen time and at the end we come up with some rules together.
2.BE A GOOD MODEL: Our children watch our every move so in trying to limit their screen time, it makes sense to set a good example by reducing mine. I explain to them when I have to do a lot with my phone but most importantly I try to be more intentional with how I use my device around them.
3.ENCOURGE OTHER ACTIVITIES:As a parent I have lots of other activities they can do both indoors and outdoors so I encourage that to limit screen time.
4.SET A DAILY TIME LIMIT:Before the pandemic my children only had their devices on the weekends but things changed as during the pandemic it was their main study tool. Though school has resumed, after school activities are not fully back and all their homework is done on their devices.So I set up apps on their phones (controllable from my phone) to limit screen time
5.USE IT AS A REWARD: Most times I make it contingent on other behaviour like finishing their homework or doing their chores.
6:SETTING PARENTAL CONTROLS:This is very important and there are lots of options to install for specific devices just a Google search away.This allows you to monitor your child’s online activities and exposure. This is very handy as you can monitor them even when you’re physically away.
How do you teach responsible screen time?
Do you set time limits or require tasks or chores to be completed before screen time?
Let’s discuss in the comment session and share this blog post with a friend struggling with screen time.
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