Why Manage Screen Time?

Why Manage Screen Time

Why manage screen time? For this post, the emphasis is the effect of excessive screen time on children.

Screen time managemet is a challenge in a lot of homes. Many of us parents are concerned about the effects of excessive screen time on our children. Admittedly, screen time has become an integral part of our daily lives, and children are no exception to this trend. Many children have access to smartphones, tablets, and laptops at an early age.

Technology has its place in society. However, excessive screen time could affect a child's physical, cognitive, and social development. This post does not suggest the removal of screens but the need for caution.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children aged 2-5 years should have no more than one hour of screen time per day. And for older children, it should be limited and monitored. However, according to a 2015 report by Common Sense Media, children aged 8-12 years spend an average of six hours per day on screens, and teenagers spend an average of nine hours on screens. This overexposure to screens can lead to various negative consequences. And those figures are way more than these today.

What are the likely effects of excessive screen time, and why should we exercise caution?

Why Manage Screen Time For Your Child?

What Are The Effects Of Excessive Screen Time on children?

There have been growing concerns that excessive screen time impacts the physical health of children. Many children lead a sedentary lifestyle, resulting in an increased risk of obesity, heart disease, and other health problems. Additionally, staring at a screen for extended periods can lead to eye strain and headaches.

However, the effects of screen time go beyond physical health. There are other concerns about how excessive screen time affects children's mental health and development. Consider the following to help you decide to manage your child's use of screens.

  1. Sleep Deprivation: Studies have shown that screen time can interfere with children's sleep. They do not want to part with their devices. They either do not go to sleep or stay asleep. Sleep deprivation affects their overall health and well-being.
  2. Attention problems: Naturally, children have a short attention span. Excessive screen time makes this worse. Research has found that children who spend too much time in front of screens find paying attention and staying focused difficult.
  3. Behavioural problems: There is some evidence to suggest that excessive screen time can contribute to behavioural problems in children, such as aggression, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Try taking their device from them and see what happens next!
  4. Social skills: Spending too much time in front of a screen can also impact children's social skills. In many homes, each child has a device. In many families, no interaction except the basic. Children who spend more time with screens may have fewer opportunities to socialize with others, which may lead to social isolation and a lack of empathy for others. Who wants this?
  5. Academic performance: Excessive screen time can lead to poor performance at school. Children who spend more time with screens may have lower grades and perform worse on standardized tests.

Given these potential effects, why is managing the screen time of your child important. What can you do?

What You Can Do?

  1. Set limits: Set clear and reasonable limits on screen time for your child. At the start of this post, I mentioned that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children ages 2 to 5 have no more than one hour of screen time per day. And that older children should have consistent limits on the amount of screen time allowed each day.
  2. Encourage other activities: If you must take their screens, replace with something else. Encourage your child to engage in other activities like playing outside, reading, or doing art and craft projects.
  3. Monitor content: Be mindful of the content your child is viewing online. Are they age-appropriate? And do they align with your family values?
  4. Be a role model: Be a good role model for your child by limiting your own screen time and engaging in other activities like reading.
  5. Use screen time wisely: When your child does have screen time, encourage them to use it wisely. If your child is watching videos, encourage them to watch educational content rather than mindless entertainment.

In conclusion, technology and screen time is here to stay. Screen time is benecial. But parents mindful of the potential effects on their children's physical, mental, and social development. By setting clear limits, encouraging other activities, monitoring content, being a role model, and using screen time wisely, parents can help their children develop healthy screen time habits.

And if you are new here, my name is Ngozi Edema. I am a children's book author. I strongly encourage reading with your child. Why?

  • Reading with your child bonds you to a child⁠
  • Reading increases a child's vocabulary⁠
  • Reading makes a child feel secured⁠
  • Reading helps children feel loved⁠
  • And reading encourages positive behaviour.⁠

So, next time you read a story from a book to a child, you are not just reading words from a page, you are helping to shape a child's future. and it is a great investment. And while you are here, check out my books ages 3-8. Happy reading. And just to let you know that I get paid by Amazon.

You will find the best stuff on the blog! Check out the following:

Like this post? Share it!

Fresh-squeezed how-to tips on book writing and busy mom life delivered to your inbox weekly.

My mama taught me never to brag. But permit me just this once to brag. Our emails kind of rock. This is where all the magic happens. Sign up for regular pep talks, inspiration, and all kinds of substance-packed goodness. Let's connect before you say goodbye.