Turning off devices is the key to developing healthy and active children. Year after year, I see an increase in children who are unable to focus in class, complete assigned tasks for more than 20 min., and sit still in the classroom.
Not because it’s not engaging…
Not because they’ve been diagnosed with a learning disability…
Not because they hate school,,
It’s because they are not used to interacting with other people because their eyes are glued to a screen.
Placing a child in front of a television or device, especially children under the age of two, can hurt their growth and development. Children who are exposed to a significant amount of screen time, miss opportunities to explore, have meaningful conversations, interactions with peers, and are at an increased risk of being overweight or obese.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for children under 2 and less than 2 hours per day for older children.
Check out these statistics:
- Middle school children who watched more television, movies and video games did worse in school than those who watched less.
- Third graders with a bedroom TV scored seven to nine points lower on standardized tests than those without a bedroom TV.
- Children who are exposed to a lot of screen time have less energy because they are not active and have a harder time in school.
- Children who have a lot of screen time have difficulty expressing themselves and progressing socially.
Limit your child’s time in front of the screen by doing the following:
- Value family time. Choose other activities like board games, reading, or art. Set aside time to play with your child, and instead of putting an Ipad in front of your child at dinner, allow them to join in on the conversation.
- Remove the TV out of their room.
- Create a weekly schedule with limited viewing times.
- Create a hands-free zone/time in your house.
- Download an app that you can use to control your child’s screen time.
- Consider using apps that control the length of time your child can use a device.
I know it’s hard to manage screen time when life is so busy. It’s easier to give a child an iPad when you have a deadline to meet at work than it is to listen to them scream and ask one thousand questions. I get it. Life is crazy, but the key is management, and the goal is for your child to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally. Take it one day at a time and implement strategies to move your child from the screen to an active life.