From the invention of Oldowan toolkits to the creation of virtual reality (VR), humanity has witnessed tremendous technological evolution. There is no denying the fact that technology has ingrained itself into our daily lives to a substantial extent. The circumstantial evidence of this claim can be 7-year-old kids who own tablets, PCs, and whatnot! While it is remarkable that kids are becoming more Tech savvy as compared to their parents, we should not forget that every coin has two sides. Gone are the times when children used to fight over the TV remote controls and game consoles. These days, kids have multiple options for possessing a personal screen. They can choose to get hold of as many screens as they want. As a result, the amount of time they devote to their screens is sky-high, and this unprecedented use of devices has increased screen time excessively. This has lead parents to consistently look out for tips to reduce screen time of their kids.
So, what problems can screen time cause? What are the harmful effects of screen time on children?
- Irregular Sleep Patterns
- Poor posture
- Unsatisfactory academic performance
- Lack of social interactions
- Behavioral issues
- Insufficiency of creativity and imagination
- Increased risk of anxiety and depression
- Weakened cognitive abilities
- Reduced attention span
Here is a detailed explanation of how too much screen time is dangerous for kids.
The aforestated points are a few of the harmful effects of screen time on child development. No matter how incredible technology is, we cannot run away from the negative consequences associated with it. All these effects can have long-lasting repercussions on a child’s life. Parents often wonder how much screen time is healthy for kids. As per the American Academy of Pediatrics, the screen time recommendation by age is as follows:
- Below 2-year-old – No Screen Time at all
- Between 2 to 12-year-old – An hour a day
- Teens and Adults – 2 hours a day
Children who devote a copious portion of their daily lives to the screen miss out on the fun and adventure associated with the physical world. Going out and having the taste of ‘real-life’ experiences is undoubtedly superior to the escapades of the virtual world. Nevertheless, limiting kids’ screen time is not easy, and parents constantly seek tips and activities to reduce kids’ screen time.
Here are 7 tips for parents to reduce their children’s screen time.
No personal devices
Many studies suggest that handheld devices cause immense damage to the development of children. Parents should find numerous creative ways to keep the kids engaged instead of just handing them electronic devices. Children should refrain from using electronic devices to prevent the increased risk of developmental problems.
Here are 10 reasons why personal electronic devices should not be allowed for children.
Track Screen Time
Track the daily usage of devices by your children. These days, many devices have this feasibility, which will help parents take note of the time their children spend in front of screens. As a result, parents can take necessary actions to limit their screen time.
Create a ‘family-time’ schedule
Devote some time off your schedule to interact with your kids and talk to them about diverse topics. Make it a habit to have dedicated family time, and have talk and family activity sessions daily to reduce your kids’ screen addiction.
Set strict rules
Parents should set some boundaries for their children to reduce their screen time. Make straightforward and invariant rules regarding screen use, and make sure your kids follow them.
Make your kids aware of the harmful effects of excessive screen time. Involve them in the decision-making process, and discuss how much screen time should be sufficient for everyone in the household under reasonable limits.
Emphasize outdoor activities
For better health, physical activities work wonders. Conducive to developing a healthy lifestyle, children must be encouraged to go outdoors and indulge in outdoor activities. Outdoor activities benefit children in umpteen ways. From physical development to emotional resilience, outdoor activities positively affect a child’s development.
Limit your own screen time
Children often look up to their parents and mimic the patterns. Parents should give good reasons to kids to stay off their screens which is only possible if they stay away and manage their screen times.
Screens are a crucial feature of the modern age’s culture. From online games, and social media to learning, many tasks involve screens actively. While running away from screens might not be the right solution, limiting screen time can be. Children should be made aware of the fact that screen time is a privilege instead of a right. Hopefully, the aforestated preventive tips to reduce kids’ screen time will certainly help parents protect the former from myriad of problems.