How To Introduce Healthy Screen Time
Photo by Alexander Dummer on Unsplash
We live in the age of technology where Smartphone, tablets, iPods, television is a common electronic item. They easily come in our hands and in our budget. In a way, it makes our lives simple, fast, and easy. Hence, today's kids are inseparable from these electronic devices.
Communication becomes easy with video calls. Today, hardly any home has a landline setup. Everyone in the family has a Smartphone. So, kids are more attracted to this device. I still remember how my 8 months old son goes crazy whenever his Dad used to video call on my Smartphone. It's just a playing toy for a baby or a fun activity for a toddler. In teen kids, it leads to addiction.
As parents, we have a big responsibility to teach our kids about healthy screen time. Now, you must understand that there are two types of screen time:
a) Bad Screen Time
b) Good Screen Time
How will you decide which one is good or bad screen time? Let me give you an example- when you allow your baby to just sit idle and watch the screen without any activity then it is bad screen time. Watching your favorite movie with a baby is bad screen time.
But, when you let your kid watch educational activities on-screen and you also participate in the activity then it is good screen time. While doing a video call with grandparents is good screen time.
Till the age of 18 months of a baby, do not allow any screen time to the baby. To some video call to dear ones is no harm. From 18 to 24 months let your baby enjoy screen time with caregivers or parents. You can allow one hour of screen time to your toddler of 2-3 years.
Babies have rapid brain development by the age of 2 years. They grab things, observe things too fast. Hence, productive screen time creates a great impact on the brain. In the long run, it will help them shape up into beautiful people.
What You Should NOT Do?
- You should not be loud with screen time. Kids observe every action of parents and repeat the same when they grow up.
- Do not say NO to kids in a strong and strict voice. They always look for the reason for something that says NO.
- Do not snatch the remote of TV, or Smartphone if kids start watching the favorite cartoon without asking you. It creates a bad impression in their mind about snatching things.
Advice To Parents
Before you introduce productive screen time to your kids, you should research about the shows and apps. The app companies or television shows claim to be educational but they turn out something else. Hence, to avoid such mishaps you should prepare well beforehand.
How To Make Kids Screen Time Productive?
Schedule non-screen time- Rather than scheduling time for screen time. Try the other way round. Schedule different games, activities both indoor and outdoor that kids forget about different screens. I know it is sometimes hard to keep yourself away from Smartphone but you can use it short interval and sometimes you can include your kid into the Smartphone activity too like making an Instagram story with kids, coming facebook live with kids, and share your activity with kids. It makes the kids feel that they are an important part of your screen time life. Another way, you can call all the family members together and involve in children's games.
Be a part of kids' screen time- When your baby watches the favorite cartoon show, then you also enjoy the show with them. Let not kids enjoy all alone the cartoon show. I know you must be busy at work and need some ME time. Kids will not remain kids all time, one day they will grow up too. But, trust me watching these cartoon shows all over again will take you back to the memory lane and that gives you a perfect ME time. Initially, it will be tough but when you come in practice you and your baby will both laugh it out and enjoy.
Interact With Kids- If your kid is watching any educational show, then interact with a kid about the show. This way, the kid feels that the show or video is good for brain development. watch the age-appropriate educational video and even you can learn some new things.
Kids are just the new souls to this corrupt world. Keeping them away from the latest trends, technology and negativity are next to impossible. But the right knowledge, education, and progressive mentality of parents and family can create a huge impact on kids' minds and personal development. Hence, you should not lose hope and try to have patience, be gentle with kids for healthy screen time, and prepare them for a better future.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mom Store