Screen time for children used to be just the TV, but we’re now in the digital age of screens and smartphones. Find out its perks and cons and how you can keep a close eye on your child’s screen time.

You must be ready for the touch-screen generation’s entry into the digital world. It includes apps, chat, video, and parental control downloads.

Screens should be kept out of the reach of children as long as feasible. You can’t stop children from using screens, but you can delay it… taking them away once a youngster knows what they are is a lot more difficult.

The harmful effects of excessive screen usage can begin as early as childhood. A study found a link between screen use and lower test scores in cognitive and emotional development. 

Higher screen time in children aged 24 and 36 months was connected with worse performance on an assessment of children’s development milestones at 36 and 60 months, according to the study’s researchers. Yikes!

What are your options with the significant rise in primary school pupils’ screen time?

Understanding the Benefits and Drawbacks

The use of smartphones and similar devices can provide parents with a much-needed break by keeping their children occupied. Still, there are cautions against relying on them too heavily—boredom is a crucial aspect of child development.

There isn’t much mental strain involved in passively watching a screen. 

Kids who consume too much of their time in front of a screen instead of using their own brain functions to control and manage boredom miss out on critical developmental stages. 

When your brain isn’t used to boredom, it’s challenging to focus in less engaging circumstances like a classroom or family meal.

Educate your youngster about the responsibilities associated with using social media. You wouldn’t say something like this in person, so why say it over the phone? We feel disconnected from the people who will be affected by our remarks because of the anonymity afforded by sitting behind a computer screen. 

Children must be frequently reminded by their parents that their acts online have consequences in the real world.

Your child should be aware that any texts he receives that make him anxious or are from a stranger should be reported to you immediately. If a youngster flags inappropriate content or reports a contact, parents are alerted via Messenger Kids. 

Because text messages cannot be deleted or concealed, parents have access to their children’s contact lists and can monitor what is said there.

It’s time to pick apps.

It’s likely that your child has requested or may be downloaded apps that her peers are using. Make sure that all of your accounts are set up with parental control.

The age recommendations in iTunes and Google Play are not regulated. Therefore you cannot rely on them. Instead, check if Common Sense Media has evaluated and rated the app. How come? To determine if the program is suitable, you should try it out for yourself.

Restraint in the Use of the Internet

Set rules for when he can text, such as turning off all electronic devices 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime.

Depending on the app, you can also set a time restriction. With “sleep mode” in Messenger Kids, you can prevent your children from using the app at exact times of the day, such as dinner or bedtime.

Children younger than 18 months old should not be exposed to any screen time. There should be no more than one hour of screen time each day for children under the age of 5, and similar limitations for those above the age of six.

No screen time at all for children under the age of one, and no sedentary screen time (such as watching TV) between the ages of one and two are recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Related article: To Think About Before You Buy a First Smartphone for Your Child