Some parental battles have changed over the years. Fewer of us have to entice children down a tree or in from the park for dinner. And more have to wage a digital war over time spent on devices.
If you’ve noticed your child spending more time gaming or browsing YouTube videos after school, you may want to know how much screen time is the right amount. That’s what we’ll cover here, from the effects of too much screen time to expert recommendations and study time. Read on to learn more!
The Effects of Too Much Screen Time
The effects of too much time using devices and technology has been understood for a long time. Children who spend more time than their peers in front of a screen are more likely to be:
- Suffer from headaches or vision problems
- Have poorer sleep quality
- Develop posture issues
Limiting Screen Time
The American Academy of Paediatrics recommend that children under six should be exposed to no more than one hour of screen time each day. However, above this age, they no longer give a figure for parents to work from, but state it is important that parents constantly restrict screen time.
This is to monitor the relationship our children have with technology just as much as it is to reduce the effects of sitting in front of a screen. It also ensures families spend time together without technology.
A Nutritious Digital Dinner
These suggestions have been backed by psychologists and world-leading researchers. The amount of time spent in front of a device is not as important as how this impacts the family dynamic and what is being consumed. Is tech bringing you together or segregating the family within the home? And is the content you are consuming benefiting your child or are they just gaming?
One Oxford University study confirmed this by contacting 20,000 parents and discussing the relationship between devices and children’s wellbeing. Suggestions based on their findings were that parents should maintain screen restriction but focus more on spending time with their children using devices.
What This Means for Studying?
Lots of studying is now done online, even in younger age groups. Children may need the internet to do their homework, or they may have enrolled on an online course to help them study for exams. Children do not usually benefit from longer studying sessions in the first place as engagement can decrease and cognition can slow down.
However, the results from Oxford University suggest that it may be even more beneficial to study together. Parents can make the best study buddies and reduce the isolated family dynamic that children may feel when studying alone.
The Key Takeaways
Screen time is a genie that will not go back in the bottle and a hot topic that is still debated among intellects. Although no exact number of hours can be prescribed to children, parents should always try to set limits, make time for technology-free family time and explore their children’s uses of technology together!