The Importance of Limiting Your Child’s Screen Time
The way of the future is certainly technology-driven. We turn to our devices for information, entertainment, and communicating with friends and family. While screen time isn’t all that bad, too much of it can negatively impact your child’s growth.
Take back your time and that of your child’s with our “limiting your child’s screen time” guide. It will inspire small changes in your home for a more productive future with less time spent in front of a device.
A study conducted by The Conversation revealed that children used electronic devices for around 1.6 to 3.6 hours a day, making it a very distracting habit. We’ve looked into the negative effects too much screen time can have on children and these were our top findings.
This goes for adults just as much as children. Keeping electronic devices in the bedroom will decrease the quality of sleep. Children require more hours of sleep than adults do, so it’s a great idea to particularly limit screen time around bedtime.
Encourage your child to use screen time outside of the bedroom by dedicating a set period of time to do so along the course of the day. If they currently use their devices at night, replace that habit with something else like a book or a notepad for journaling.
Many computer games glorify violence, hatred, and anger amongst many other divisive behaviors. Some computer games can be interactive and positively uplifting for children but we can’t ignore that a lot of them do promote violence.
Without realizing it, playing violent games can subconsciously teach a child how to be angry or violent. These games typically involve segregation, an enemy and a hero, and they teach you to win by killing or hurting someone else.
Games that promote violence have been shown to encourage children and teens to display aggressive behaviors to their siblings, friends, and teachers.
A Sedentary Lifestyle
An overuse of screen time can lead to a very sedentary life for your child. Children who are less active are more likely to become overweight or even obese. And because most life-long habits are formed early on in life, leading a sedentary lifestyle at a young age can affect your child’s adult years.
Teaching your child to stay active by engaging in group sports activities, riding a bike, or playing outside will set your child up for a healthy future. If you find something that your child genuinely enjoys doing, this is a habit that won’t be hard to adopt.
Keep it fun, and most importantly, try not to pressure your child too much into an activity they don’t particularly like. Taking attention away from the serious matter at hand (that is, discouraging a sedentary lifestyle) and keeping it light and fun will encourage better participation.
With more time to do an array of other activities by putting down the devices, you’ll be able to include some of the following alternative activities that benefit your child’s journey of growth:
- Reading: Probably our favorite of all the activities, reading exercises the mind and your children will absorb new words that will expand their vocabulary. Not to mention, expand and exercise their adventurous imaginations which promotes creativity.
- Arts & Crafts: If your child is very creative, loves colors, and making things, nourish their artsy side with arts and crafts. You can create an advent calendar for Christmas or DIY birthday cards during the year. Whatever it is that gets the creativity flowing!
- Cooking & Baking: When it’s safe to, encourage your child to help out in the kitchen. Not by washing dishes (which is a chore and it’s great to instill this behavior in them) but we’re talking about baking cookies or making pasta. If your child has shown interest in the kitchen, encourage them to help you and teach them your culinary secrets.
- Pen Pals: We love this old pastime. Encourage your child to find a pen pal of their age to write letters to on a monthly basis. You can purchase them a stationery set and teach them how to use correct grammar and express their words in a creative and unique way. It’s also a great and very personal way to keep in touch with friends and loved ones who live far away.
Less screen time means more time for other enriching activities that promote your child’s emotional and intellectual growth. What great activities do you and your children love to do in your spare time? We’d love to hear from you!