The good news that will relieve the anxiety of responsible parents today is to know what their children are watching on the screens or what kind of games they play; making sure their children are watching age-appropriate content.
In the last 2 years of recent history, children have become more addicted to the screen than ever before. The reason is known; It has become a Pandemic with Kovid and all its derivatives.
Due to the pandemic, children, like other family members, are confined to their homes. Since the children who were stressed in the schoolyards could not go out on the street this time, they turned to the vehicles that would carry them out at home, at least mentally. These vehicles were all kinds of "screened" devices.
Moreover, students had to turn to tablets, computers, and TV screens as teachers offered their lessons through digital tools such as Zooms Naturally, the way of using it, which started with novices at first, was enough to make children acrobats within a month or two. Because children had the ability to adapt faster than their parents to the use of technology.
TV, which parents saw as the most dangerous habit 10-20 years ago, is not even watched by children now. Because every child has a mobile phone with a huge screen in his pocket.
The problem has been experienced not only in our country, but also all over the world, and it continues to be experienced. Because the Kovid microbe continues to attack in different ways. Parents and babysitters have had a hard time managing their children's screen time over the past two years.
Working from home, online education activities, economic hardship, and balancing illness and grief have been realities of varying scales in most homes.
Here's what research says
Global Studies have revealed that younger children as well as older children and adolescents are spending more screen time than ever before.
Experts have stated the concerns of screen addiction on mental health in terms of social development.
Screen time has become a concern, especially for young children. Unhealthy habits, which are getting harder and harder to change, have settled in the child's world.
Besides, it is one of the big problems that screen watching has proven to impair concentration skills.
So how long should healthy screen time be?
There are no studies on healthy screen time on this subject so far. Setting a time limit for children's levels may seem unattainable at the moment, and returning to pre-pandemic screen time levels seems unlikely.
Many parents don't know how to keep screen time at home at healthy levels. All responsible parents expect support in this regard.
We are not entirely helpless in this matter. You can consider the following suggestions as some helpful tips:
For screen addiction in children make sure you do due diligence first and find answers to questions like below;
What are your children watching on the screens?
What games does he play?
Answering these questions is crucial to ensure they have access to age-appropriate and useful content for their holistic development. For example, does it develop skills such as colors, shapes, and numbers for young children that they will need at school? What are the social skills for older children and adolescents that help them relate positively to their peers?
Choose the time you can be together, whenever possible!
From a developmental perspective, the benefits of face-to-face interaction far outweigh the benefits of screen time, especially for young children.
Interactions within and outside the family are crucial to their cognitive, social, and emotional development. This enriches some simple associations. For example; It can provide excellent opportunities to develop nurturing and growth-promoting connections, such as chatting, talking, and singing with them. It's important to limit screen time for older children and adolescents.
Make a Rule
Children thrive with healthy boundaries and rules, even if they don't want to. Simple rules about screen time can make a significant difference in achieving healthy screen time levels. It can also have a positive effect on relationships at home.
For example, turn off the TV at mealtimes. In addition to measures such as having a weekly screen-free day or not using social media during the day, it is important to watch a TV series or movie with the family on certain days.
The negative impact of screen time on sleep has been documented. Limiting the time spent in front of the screen as bedtime approaches are the most important limit that is easy to follow. The child who has to go to bed at 21:00 must turn off the screen before this time. Although this situation seems to help children to sleep, the level of arousal as a result of being affected by what the child is watching ends his sleep energy.
Also, the blue light emitted from screens actually tells their brains that it's not time to sleep. Screen time can have a negative impact on sleep quality and how long they sleep. Given the wide range of benefits of sleep for children, this is not a resource you want to cut back on.
Making healthy choices isn't always easy!!!
The pandemic has undoubtedly made these choices even more difficult. However, every small change to keep screen time at healthy levels is a big step in the right direction for children's health, well-being, and development.
“The sooner, the better” applies to making positive changes. Oh, and "it's never too late to start."
Sign up for Sparkler Minds courses today to have your child spend screen time wisely!