The present day kids are smart, quick and equally tech savvy. With technology everywhere, they have a greater exposure to television, computer games and similar other gadgets. Screen time is the time spent in front of such devices. While these inventions have their own use, they can be detrimental to the development of children. This is especially more in case of children as their minds are young and they cannot differentiate between right and wrong.
This does not necessarily mean than screen time is always bad for children. No, it means that the use should be restricted and efforts should be made to bring out the best from their use.
Benefits of screen time
Television, computer games or animation CDs can be used for educational purposes by selecting the specific programs or topics required by children. Concepts learnt in an animated way or three dimensional graphics help in better understanding and are easy to remember. When viewed together with parents or with elder siblings, these gadgets can be very helpful in improving children’s general knowledge and help in building relations also.
Tips for parents
Parents can enhance their children’s thinking ability, problem solving skills, creativity and imagination with the help of these gadgets. Some of the tips that parents can use are:
- Limit television time to specific favorite programs that are aired at a time suitable for your children. Avoid programs that show violence, inappropriate language or behavior and some stuff, which is not meant for young minds.
- While choosing, their favorite television shows or computer games look out for educational programs to help learning process or plain entertaining programs for recreational purpose.
- Parents and children can engage in this together. This provides children with a sense of security and parents can also monitor the time and quality of the programs watched or games played.
- While watching programs, parents can interact with their children by explaining what is shown or sharing their information, asking their children to recollect similar experiences or something that has been taught to them thus making the screen time a valuable learning experience for all.
- Avoid using screen time with meal times or sleep hours or just before bedtime. It can have harmful effects on the digestion, sleep and growth. It may also increase the tendency to obesity and can increase hyperactive or violent behavior.
- Prefer watching adult channels or programs when children are not around.