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Screen Time and how much children are exposed to it, is becoming a huge issue. There is a lot of recent research being publised over the recent years that indicates that it is not beneficial to allow unlimited access to screens for children.
Ollwyn Moran, our founder and CEO, is over 20 years in Education and Brain Development has some top tips and guidelines for screen time use with children. This is also aligned with the APA (American Paediatric Association) guidelines publised in 2017.
See our other blogs for more information on the impact of screen time on the developing brain.
- For babies 0 to 2yrs it is highly recommended that there is no screen time. There should be no background tv either.
- From 2 yrs to 5 yrs old, it is highly recommended that there is no more than one hour of screen time per day. This includes tv, tablets, phones etc.
- The screen time should be supervised and experienced with a parent or responsible adult.
- The content should be very clearly age appropriate.
- And then brought in the real-world experiences.
- From 5 yrs onwards there should really be very clear boundaries:
- Do not ‘give in’ and allow screen time – encourage children to participate in other activities, sports, crafts, reading etc etc. This should be the first port of call. And encourages good habits for the future.
- Use age appropriate language to discuss and explain why they are not getting unlimited screen time. If they know and understand the rational behind an action they will ‘by in’ to it faster and with less complaints.
- Turn off devices during schoolwork or learning – this should be non-negotiable. They cannot concentrate fully on their tasks with devices around.
- Discourage their eating while watching TV or movies or while playing video games.
- Limit exposure to scary or intense media as it can have a significant impact on the psychological development of younger children.
- Create media-free zones, such as the bedroom or at the dining table.
- Carefully monitor their exposure to advertising online or on TV.
- Limit your own use of TV and digital technology around kids. Children learn from their environments around them and the influential adults in their lives. Your actions are being soaked in by your children. So be mindful of your use of screens.
- Maintain a dialogue with them about sexting and online porn. For older children this is especially important. You need to have open and honest discussions with your children about this topic and equip them with the tools to protect themselves.