Are your kids suffering from too much screen time? Last week’s blog post featured 7 brain games for kids that can be played on computers, tablets and smartphones. Although some apps are educational and they very well might help with brain development, children should not be spending all of their playtime on devices.
How do you determine what is too much screen time for kids?
Every family has a different situation and should set up screen time limits accordingly. The Canadian Pediatric Society suggests that children should not be given any screen-time until after the age of two. They also recommend that children between the ages of two and four should have a maximum of one hour of screen time each day. For children between the ages of five and nine more than two hours is considered to be too much screen time. Ultimately if screen time is taking away from daily physical activities then it becomes a problem and can be a major contributor to childhood obesity.
Is too much screen time stealing children’s creativity?
Because tablets and smartphones are relatively new “toys” for kids there is still not sufficient research to determine what the long-term effects will be. A recent article from Readers Digest .ca expresses the concern that tablets may be robbing children of some of their creativity. Even though apps can do things like coloring and doodling kids don’t need a tablet to do this. Kids can be creative with a piece of good old-fashioned paper and a pencil or some crayons.
What are some alternatives to screen time?
There are plenty of activities for kids to do that do not involve technology. Everyone over the age of ten has grown up without touch screens and Angry Birds. Consider all of the children who have pretended to be dinosaurs, built forts, had make believe tea parties and set up lemonade stands. All of the imaginary adventures kids throughout history have had are probably in part due to the fact that there were no tablets to keep them constantly occupied. When kids experience some degree of boredom, it’s amazing to witness the creative things that come out of their imaginations.
Limiting screen time doesn’t mean eliminating it completely
Because we live in an age of constantly evolving technology children most definitely will be familiar with using tablets, and that’s okay. This post is not intended to make parents feel guilty about letting their kids use tablets. Tablets can be great tools for kids as long as there are set time limits for daily screen time.