Did you know that too much screen time can affect the social milestones of your child negatively? Well, research shows that kids who spend too much time on the screen perform poorly in development tests. The current generation boasts of quick access to screens. When they’re not watching television, they are busy playing games on their phones. The problem has been compounded by the development of smartphones that the children can carry wherever they go. This makes it possible for your kids to spend more than 75% of their time staring at the phone screens.
This phenomenon affects not only your kids’ bodies, but also their social well-being. In the current world, it’s not strange to encounter a child who cannot engage in a constructive debate with others.
Why You Should Manage Screen Time for Your Children
Research conducted by scientists from the University of Calgary, University of Waterloo, and the Alberta Children’s Hospital showed that children who spent more time on the screen scored poorly on the development test. These findings emphasize the need to regulate the time that your children spend on screens. You may think that you’re showing them love by buying them numerous electronic gadgets, but the truth is that you’re spoiling their lives.
Also, some studies have shown that children who spend little time on the screen have a better memory. Spending too much time on the screen affects the development of some areas of your child’s brain, which will eventually affect the overall quality of their lives. As such, it’s necessary that you regulate the screen time to help in safeguarding their future.
It’s paramount to fathom that your children learn a majority of their behaviors when they are below 10 years. It’s at this time that you should let your children explore different aspects of life, which will ensure that they develop into responsible adults. If you allow them to spend most of their time playing games, you can be certain that they’ll adopt all their adult behaviors from virtual characters.
To prevent that, you should ensure that you stand in the gap and become a role model for them. That way, you’ll be certain that they’ll only adopt desirable behaviors from you and other people in your immediate surroundings.
Tips for Managing Screen Time for Children
While there are many kid-friendly apps, TV shows, and movies, you should not allow your child to gaze at the smartphone screen for too long since it’ll adversely affect their future. Here are a few tips that you can use to manage the time they spent on these electronic gadgets.
Spend Time with Your Children
When you fail to spend time with your children, they’ll always seek company elsewhere. In most cases, they will get comfort in electronics since there are myriad gadgets that have especially been designed for their entertainment.
When you’re child develops zombie-like tendencies due to overdependence on electronics, you’ll spend more time trying to correct that than you’d had spent in preventing it. As such, it’s advisable that you create time off your busy schedule to be with your children.
Limit Screen Time
Never feel guilty of limiting screen time for your child. While the child may not understand your motives at that very moment, they’ll appreciate it in the future.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, you should not allow media use for children below 18 months. When your child is between 2 and 5 years, limit the screen time to 1-2 hours per day. When they get to five years, you should take charge and determine the ideal screen time for them.
When setting the limits, you should aim at incorporating physical activities, sleep, and other social activities in the child’s program. Ensure that these activities are not replaced by watching TV and playing cellphone games.
Draft a Plan
If there exists no tangible guide of the activities that your children should engage in, it’s likely that they’ll not follow your rules to the letter. As such, you should draft a timetable to guide their daily activities.
However, we recommend that you include them while making this plan. Listen to their suggestions keenly and make sure that you correct them in a friendly manner when necessary. If they give implementable ideas, you should never hesitate to include them in your plan.
If you fail to involve them, you can be certain that they will resist. Children dislike parents who tell them what to do! If they suspect that you are deliberately denying them what they desire, they will conspire to sabotage your plan, which will only lead to more frustrations.
Limiting screen time for your children is essential since it offers tremendous health benefits as outlined in this article. You should try to convince your children to do things besides watching TV and playing games on their phone. When they appreciate the benefits, you’ll have an easy time implementing the screen time plan.
Salman is a prolific environmental writer, and has authored more than 500 articles in reputed journals, magazines and websites. He is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management, sustainability and conservation all over the world.
Salman can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org