As the world has now become saturated with digital media, many of us spend more hours a day connected to the Internet than sleeping. The influence of screen time is mounting to its peak. According to research, the implications of digital media in the hyper connected era, most of the effects of digitization are positive but carrying negative impacts in it as well.
Today the communication patterns have changed and adults spend more and more time online, so the idea of time in front of the screen has become obsolete. The new generation is more tech-savvy, and use screens as their only way of entertainment. They are not completely at fault because being parents; we ourselves entertain our kids through these gadgets, and leave them with the TV or tablet to keep them occupied. This ultimately gets the children addicted.
Another important reason for the increased use of screens is our modern education system, which has also incorporated electronic gadgets in its teaching methods. Many skills that a pre-schooler has yet to learn to require social interaction does not always occur in front of a two-dimensional screen.
However, we know that children are able to do all sorts of positive things with digital media. However, too much of this is associated with:
- Irregular sleep schedules and shorter sleep duration
- Behavior problems
- Loss of social skills
- Less time to play
- Risk of negative influence
What do the parents have to do?
Parents are the foremost caretakers of their children and can guide them better than anyone. Parents should make their children understand that the use of tools is important, but there is no substitute for family time.
Parents have complete rights to tune their kids but the transformation should be smooth to keep your coin safe. However, parents should focus more on the content, context, and connections children make with media. If there is more of a negative influence, you may proceed to take action or talk to your children. You can set ground rules and impose restrictions by which they should abide. You should build a friendly and a trusty relationship with your kids. So that kids feel free to discuss anything they learned from any gadget even they know that you will be the right one to share.
How to set the limit?
Although parents are fully aware of the importance of technology in today’s era, many parents fret and want to know the ways in which they can limit screen time for their children. Here are a few tips:
- Make a routine. Tell your children that they can use the TV, tablet, and mobile only at certain times of the day or on weekends.
- Put rules on the home TV screen, for example in some spaces such as the kitchen or living room. Discourage the use of the TV during meals, while you are all together and in the bedroom.
- Put a timer and when it rings, it’s time to turn off the screen.
- Kids better know to rule on parent’s heart. Stop the whims before they start by keeping them busy in another activity.
- Once you turn off your tablet, TV and more, take it out of sight of the child.
Useful Off Screen Activities
Technology has acquired a fixed place in everyone’s life, especially kids. Being parents, you should provide them with other healthy outlets. Such as:
- Motivate them to read as it helps build language skills, promotes emotional connections, and has a calming effect on children.
- Involve your kids in recreational activities like dancing, music, sports etc as physical movement helps children focus better, and channels their energy.
- Involve them in manual activities like coloring, doing chores with you, cooking, cleaning etc. Kids often love it!
These are some examples of how you can set limits for your kid’s screen time, and engage them in other physical activities, which are safe and healthier for them.