Today children are around a lot more screen media than they ever were. With this fact it’s important parents and classroom educators are aware of how to manage screen time when it comes to children as it is possible to use it in such a way that can enhance learning.
Television has come a very long way since its humble beginning in 1925 and so today children are exposed to lots more opportunities to watch and learn from screen media, be it from a television, iPad or their parents mobile phone. Of course it’s important that there is balance, like everything, and I hope to give you an insight into how we manage screen time in our family.
What are your thoughts on screen time for children?
There are obviously two camps when it comes to exposing children to television and giving them screen time. Some believe that children should not watch television at all and others believe that moderation is key. I personally do not look at television as being a ‘babysitter’ for my children but something that I can control. Streaming devices such as Netflix works well for my family as it contains a variety of children’s shows that are educational and entertaining and the programming allows me to stop it whenever I choose. It’s doesn’t have to be a set and forget, but more something I can control.
How to manage your child’s screen time
Try to avoid screens until child is at least 2 years of age. Child development experts recommend that children under the age of 2 years are not exposed to television or other screen entertainment. Fortunately there are lots of fabulous and educational television shows available for beyond this age.
Set a timer. It is recommended children over the age of 2 years don’t have more than 1 hour of television a day. Personally I try and limit screen time to 20 minutes a day and set my kitchen timer to sound a warning alarm after 15 minutes and then it is set again for another 20 minutes. Of course there are days that our television or screen time is made flexible and they might watch a touch more on one day and less or none on another.
Watch it with them. Television or any kind of screen time does not have to be done alone, in fact it is highly recommended that parents watch whatever screen time a child is getting together. This can promote discussion and is a lovely way to relax and bond together.
Be selective about what is viewed. There really is such thing as educational television shows for children. Netflix are constantly updating new and great shows and movies that explore problems and scenarios that are relevant to children. I’m part of their #streamteam and it’s exciting to share with you some examples of that –
Whist not everyone may agree, there are some simple ways that you can include and manage your child’s screen time and it be used in a positive and educational way.
How do you manage screen time in your home?
Disclosure – I am part of the Netflix #streamteam and have received a year subscription and other related items. I confess that I am secretly obsessed with Netflix and my opinion expressed above is my own. Feel free to read my disclosure policy here.
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