Screens can be a tool, they should not be a babysitter
While kids are on screens it takes away from their time:
- Learning self-regulation, self-reliance, and patience.
- Using their imagination and creativity to make up games and entertain themselves.
- Playing outside.
- Talking and being social with others in the home.
- Looking and listening to the environment outside the car, at brother’s practice, etc.
- Using their hands and fingers to color, cut, do crafts, build things, do puzzles.
Screen time should be limited to:
No screen time for children under 2.
One hour per day for children 2 to 12.
Two hours per day for teens and adults.
according to the American Academy of Pediatrics
Tips for Limiting Screen Time
- Delay getting your child a tablet or smartphone for as long as you can. Because of the dopamine reaction in the brain, it starts a very strong habit that is very difficult to break.
- Make sure you have family rules on how much screen time is allowed and what content is allowed.
- Teach children to use screens as a tool, for a specific purpose, then stop.
- Use screens as part of your quality time together - watching or playing together is best for development.
- Think of screens like cake - fun sometimes but not healthy in large doses.
- Keep all screens out of your children’s bedroom at night.
- Know what your children are looking at - consider keeping screens in public areas of the house so you can see what they’re doing, and use sites like Common Sense Media to choose what you’ll allow (www.commonsensemedia.org).
- Use parental controls on devices.
- Limit screens for yourself too – put down the phone when your child needs your attention.