With the rise of digital media, the danger of having too much screen time is much more apparent than ever. What classify as digital media are televisions, the internet, and your child’s smart device. Especially with a small-sized smart devices, it will be even harder to limit the screen time of children.
While some programs are educational, the amount of digital media consumed by children are too much. Many of those can show behaviors you wouldn’t want your child to imitate, or even cause fear in your child. As a parent, what you can do is to set up good habits regarding the screen time of children and decrease the negative effects. And this time, we will give you some tips on how to do that.
- Never turn on your TV randomly. Always give your child programs for them to watch. You can give your child a few choices you have prepared before and let them pick one.
- If you think the program that is aired is something your child shouldn’t see, you should turn off the TV instead.
- You should limit the screen time of children that is above 2 years old to 1 or 2 hours per day. If your child is below 2 years old, it is not recommended to give them any screen time at all.
- Always give educational shows as choices for your kids.
- During the screen time of children, be with them as much as possible. Talk about what happened during the screen time, and talk about the good and bad about it. It would be very good if you can talk about the difference between reality and what they saw on the screen.
- Not all cartoons is suitable for kids. Make sure to research about said cartoons before suggesting it to your kids.
- Never let your kids to watch soap operas or talks show during their screen time.
- Make a rule to ban the usage of smart devices during meals.
- Be a good role model for your child. You can do this by limiting your screen time and do other activities such as reading or exercising.
- Don’t put any TV, computer, or smart devices in your kids’ bedrooms.
Those are some tips you can do to limit the screen time of children. In addition to that, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also has a few guidelines regarding your children’s consumption of media:
- Babies under 18 months old shouldn’t have any screen time at all. An exception to this is a video-chat to families.
- Toddlers between 18 to 24 months old should have some screen time with their parents or their caregiver. It’s not explained in the details of how much screen time they should have, but preferably below 1 hour.
- Preschooler shouldn’t have more than 1 hour of educational programming. During the screen time of children, it’s necessary to have a parent or caregiver to help them understand the programme they are watching.
- Kids between 5 to 18 years old should have a consistent limit regarding screen time. This includes restriction on TV, social media, and video games. The consumption of media should not make children lose their sleep.
TV, internet, and smart devices are just tools made by people. And just like other tools, it’s up to us on how we should use it. While it’s good that we limit the screen time of children, it’s also important to note that if used carefully they could provide another fun way for our child to study.