Best Practices For Quality Screen TIme
As a parent, there is a good chance you can pinpoint an instance where you allowed your child to sit in front a screen, free to watch or play whatever they choose. This of course isn’t by design. There are times where you might be occupied taking a call, working, or even preparing dinner and don’t have the ability to pay much attention to your child’s screen time. The good news is you can do your part in helping change this habit. While screen time is a good way to keep kids occupied, it’s very important to understand unintended consequences of too much screen time.
In an article published by The Daily Telegraph, they claim that “techno-savvy kids can tap, swipe and pinch touch screens before they have learnt to tie their shoelaces, worrying health and education experts that they are failing to gain basic motor skills.” This can likely be traced back to the choice of choosing a tablet over other activities like drawing, coloring, or even playing with play-dough and blocks. Because of this unintended consequence, elementary schools may see an increase in Occupational Therapists. Excessive screen time can also be linked back to obesity, violence, and impulse control in children.
While this isn’t to say devices need to be taken away completely from your child, it’s important for parents to ensure that your child is spending quality screen time. Below are ways that can help:
- Know how your child spends his or her time online. Ask questions about what they are watching or playing and even watch and play alongside them.
- Find apps and websites that educate as well as entertain.
- Schedule playdates and other offline activities on a weekly basis. Children need to socialize and interact with the physical space around them.
- Set physical boundaries: no devices at the table and no internet in bedrooms.
- Keep the television off when nobody is watching it.
- Set limits on your child’s screen time. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests less than two hours a day.
- Revisit your restrictions and limitations as your child grows older. What is okay for a teenager may not be appropriate for an adolescent.
- Limit the amount of time you spend online. Modeling responsible behavior will help your child follow suit.
Are you currently practicing any of the tips above? Comment below and tell us how they’re working out for you and your family!