Focusing On Children & Screen Media Time: Is It A Conflict Or An Opportunity?

The simple truth is that children spend more time in front of screens than they did when you were a child. It’s not surprising. The amount of television channels and ease of access to streaming means there is always something to watch on tv. 

Focusing On Children & Screen Media Time: Is It A Conflict Or An Opportunity?
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Alongside this, there are game consoles, tablets, and even mobile phones, all with access to games and other content. When you get your child to turn one device off, they are invariably in front of a different one shortly after. 

The problem is, screen time is essential for children today. They need to know how these devices work in order to function in modern society. But, there are issues to be careful of. Studies show that the greater the level of screen time the higher the likelihood of children externalizing behavioural problems.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed or perhaps to just give in and let your child use their screen. However, while it is more difficult to stop screen time periodically, it’s also more beneficial.

It is important to note that your approach must be mirrored by the early learning centre and even the school. That’s why it’s essential to choose a reputable establishment, such as this daycare Hurstville.

The Problem With Screentime

Research is ongoing and it may be years before the effects of excessive screentime are really understood. However, it is clear that too much screen time leads to changes in the way the brain operates. 

The more obvious symptoms are:

Trouble sleeping

Higher risk of anxiety

Increased likelihood of depression

Weight gain

Attention issues

Of course, this doesn’t happen in every case, there are various other factors involved.

In short, if you want your child to develop normally and stay healthy, you need to monitor and reduce screentime when appropriate. 

In that sense, there will be a conflict. The good news is there are ways to resolve or avoid the conflict:

Set Boundaries First

Children like to have routines as this means they know what to expect and feel more in control of their lives. You can use this to set a schedule that allows them limited access to screen time, helping you to maintain balance without conflict. 

The amount of screentime depends on age but, in general, it’s not recommended children under three have any screentime. Above age three up until school age they should have no more than one hour a day. After this, the aim will be to encourage self-discipline when using screen time Which means taking regular breaks and limiting the time they are on the device themselves. It’s the most effective way to ensure their screen time is limited throughout life.

Know what is being watched

When you’re child is very young they shouldn’t be allowed screentime by themselves. It’s better that you watch them and guide them through the options than simply banning various sites. This will encourage them to choose the right sites themselves and help to avoid the resentment with you controlling screentime.

Make It Educational

Finally, to help avoid conflict and use screentime as an opportunity, help them to focus on educational play and resources. The internet and even games can teach them a lot. All you have to do is point them in the right direction. 

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