Pros and cons of screen time

Kids spending too much time online?

Here’s how to combat your child’s device dependency

Whether you like it or not, your children are growing up in a digital era. Although they’re surrounded by screens, it’s important that they spend more time on other developmental activities.

Did you know?

  • Children under the age of nine spend more than two hours a day on screens.
  • More than one in three US children aged eight and younger have their own tablet devices.

Digital devices have become an essential part of our everyday lives – for work, entertainment, administration, and almost everything in between! The online and digital world is also home to a host of resources that can help foster children’s skills and development. But, as we’ve all been made aware, too much screen time can have negative effects on our children’s wellbeing.

Like most things in life, it all comes down to balance…

Pros of screen time

  • Teaches valuable technology skills
  • Helps children create and learn
  • Improves fine motor skills and coordination
  • Allows them to connect with friends and family
  • Opens up a window into the world of information

Cons of screen time

  • Overstimulation
  • Sleep problems
  • Lack of bonding
  • Sedentary behaviour
  • Vision problems
  • Can cause attention issues

What should parents do?

Banning your child from screen time isn’t the answer; rather, you should limit your child’s screen time and encourage them to engage in other activities, such as:

TIP: Keep toys visible so that they’re not ‘out of sight, out of mind’ – e.g. on a shelf instead of tucked away in a box. Another good idea is to insist that your child reads a book for, say, 20 minutes before engaging with a screen.

Set a good example

You can’t expect your children to engage in balanced screen behaviour when you’re staring into a cellphone screen all day and night. Be sure to engage meaningfully with your child, rather than constantly checking your phone, answering emails and scrolling through your social media feeds – this can wait until they’ve gone to bed.

Truly Toys stock a range of educational toys for all ages to foster children’s imaginations without a screen. Visit https://educationaltoys.co.za/ or contact us for a quote: 011 618 1337 / sales2@trulytoys.co.za.

Further reading:

 

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