For young children, screen time can be a source of great educational and developmental opportunities or a looming threat to their health. It all depends on how you manage it!
According to a study by the National Institute of Health, too much screen time can result in lower test scores and brain development issues. It can also impact a child’s ability to focus, diminish their interest in non-electronic activities (like socializing or playing with toys), and stunt physical development.
Here are a few tips for managing screen time with your children, so they grow up healthy and happy!
- Set restrictions based on age
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following screen restrictions for children of different ages:
- 18 months and younger: Video chatting only.
- 18 to 24 months old: Educational content that babies and parents enjoy together.
- 2 to 5 years old: One hour max of educational content per day.
- 6 years and up: Time limit can be set at parents’ discretion.
- Define “too much screen time”
Instead of telling kids that they’ve been on their tablet or watching TV “too much,” set a clear expectation that they can understand. For example, if they get 2 hours total per day, you can keep track and let them know when they’ve hit the limit.
- Create “screen-free” zones
This is another great way to set a clear boundary when it comes to screens. However you decide to eliminate screens, make sure the whole family follows along! For example, if your zones are meal time, 1 hour after school, and 2 hours before bed, set the example by staying off your devices or using them only when absolutely necessary.
- Don’t use the TV as background noise
Having the TV on all the time can make it difficult for children to concentrate because there is always something exciting happening on the big screen! If you need background noise, try switching to music or ambient noise.
IMAGINE EARLY EDUCATION AND CHILDCARE
Here at Imagine, we use screens to supplement traditional teaching methods, but we don’t rely on them. Contact us to learn how we establish healthy boundaries when it comes to screens in the classroom!