Useful Screen Time Rules for Kids
Did you ever wonder if all the screen time your child uses is bad for their eyes? Do you wonder if they are online too much? Schools hand out tablets for students now to work on their school work. That’s double the screen time they get on weekends or on breaks. Children are getting their own cell phones at a young age, and some get one by second grade. This is more screen time your child is exposed to. In addition, they come home, play games, research and talk to their friends so it seems like they are constantly texting or reading online. This is something you might want to think about and look at useful screen time for kids.
The negative aspect
Researchers are saying that children are being exposed to way too much screen time, whether it’s television or a device and the impacts could be negative on the brain of small children. This includes brain memory, development, attention span, and even language coordination. Studies are telling parents that more screen time is starting to create poor progress when it comes to important developmental issues. This includes communication, problem-solving and even social interactions that are starting with young children.
How much time do children spend in front of the screen?
The average child is spending almost three hours daily in front of some sort of screen. This is toddlers and preschoolers that are spending this much time in front of screens. This should be cut down to one hour of screen time. This is important to think about because after time these small kids are performing at a lower rate when it comes to their developmental skills. Parents find it’s easier to stick their child with their phone for games when they are busy or in front of the television. The kids who are performing slower are the ones that don’t have their parents reading to them or taking them outside for fresh air and playdates.
This also depends on how highly educated the parents are as well. Some parents have forgone college and had children at a young age and they find it easier to stick their child in front of a screen. Children need to be physically active even if parents are on a strict budget. They still need to go outside and play at a park and there are financial scholarships at the YMCA for tots to join classes and have social interaction. When kids reach the age of 2 to 5 years old, this is the time where their brain is going through the most development so it’s important to introduce them to other things besides pictures that run and talk.
During these years of age 2 to 5, it’s important to cut screen time for young kids due to their brain development. This is when kids learn from everything they see and hear. If your child is spending too much time in front of a screen, they are missing out on other types of opportunities for learning and brain development. This includes motor skills, bike or tricycle riding, reading books, recognizing words and even walking and talking.
Regulating it as a parent
This doesn’t mean that all screen time is bad, but it’s important if they are watching these games and programs alone or with their parents or a caregiver who can talk to them about what is going on. Parents should spend this time with their kids because even if they are watching a favorite show, it’s nice to feel the security of mom or dad watching the same program with them to see what they are learning. Families have to work together to develop healthy screen time and media habits. This is how kids learn by having their parents, or older siblings, family members etc, telling them what each item is. This will also encourage their language development and how they learn.
Parents can also talk to different families because many times there just aren’t the right role models around to offer suggestions. Grandparents are learning to use devices but don’t know as much as their kids who are still learning. The grandkids come along and the smaller ones are stuck in front of screens for hours.
Think about how you grew up and maybe it’s time to start unplugging devices during dinner and bedtime. Many families turn off their phones during dinner and also turn them down or off at bedtime if they don’t work in an emergency situation. If you still have children that are out late, this won’t work as well in case they need to get in touch with you.
You can also choose to share screen time and all watch the same program you chose together to limit excessive screen time. On weekends you can allow the kids more screen time to play a few games that they like but make sure the games they are playing are suitable. Many games are designed to manipulate kids and adults into purchasing more items online. This can be dangerous because as they grow up they can get involved in online gambling and lose their earnings. It’s important that parents explain the pros and cons of these games and what they mean.
Noticing a particular change
If you notice your kids are having problems winding down, cut the screen time after dinner unless there is some homework. Time flies when people are online and this includes kids and a parent looks and three hours have went by on some nonsense they were texting or messaging. People and kids get behind on studies and chores and then the stress starts building up because you wasted a day online. Screens will tell your brain to stay awake if your children look at them before bedtime. It might be better to do all the homework when they get home after a romp in the yard.
The country also has an obesity problem with children because of these devices. There is one doctor that believes that a child should have 5 servings of fruit and veggies daily, only two hours of screen time, one whole hour of exercise of some sort and no sugar or soda. When he devised this he called it the 5-2-1-0 formula to prevent obesity. This is a great idea also when it comes to screen time rules for kids. Use this as leverage for your kids because all parents hopefully love their children and don’t want them being bullied because they have problems. You don’t have run a boot camp, but some simple research and common sense will help you continue to raise a healthy child and make sure they are receiving a well-balanced diet of everything that is available to children their age. Parents want to make sure that their child is developing healthy in both mind and body.