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What to Do If Your Child Spends Too Much Time on Screens

Photo from Bruce Mars via Unsplash

What to Do If Your Child Spends Too Much Time on Screens

By Movieguide® Contributor

While dozens of studies have proven the negative impact screen time has on toddlers and children, parents have a hard time keeping their children’s screen time low, often due to convenience or a belief that the technology isn’t really that bad.

With technology enabling more people than ever to work from home, it’s becoming increasingly common for parents to take care of their kids while working a full-time job. However, this leads to difficulties when figuring out how to fill your children’s time while keeping yourself free to work. The solution for many has been to place them in front of a screen.

The effect this has on children has now been studied many times, and the result across the board is negative. Past studies have shown higher screen time is linked to slower brain development, issues with communication and fine motor skills, higher rates of anxiety and depression and more.

However, because many parents don’t see any other options for entertaining their kids, pediatricians have started sharing how to use screen time in the least harmful way.

While most pediatricians would still recommend limiting screen time for children as much as possible, they also acknowledge that using screens for education is an appropriate use of the technology. Nonetheless, face-to-face learning and interactions off the screen result in better learning. Pediatricians also recommend avoiding screen time altogether for children younger than 2 and keeping screen time under an hour per day until at least 5 years old.

As millions of parents continue to turn to screens to entertain their children, it can be difficult to unplug their kids when nobody around them is. For parents looking to reduce their children’s screen time, the largest impact they can make is by reducing their own screen time. Not only does this set a good example, but studies have shown that it also leads to better, more involved parenting.

Movieguide® previously reported:

While many parents set screen limits and restrictions for their children, a recent study found that parents are guilty of spending more time on their phones than building relationships with their kids.

A survey managed by OnePoll and commissioned by Campspot revealed that parents spend an average of five hours a day on their phones and less than four hours a day with their children.

“Three out of five American parents admit that they spend more time on their electronic devices than their kids do,” Study Finds reported.

Most parents (80%) own three or more electronic devices. Their kids (81%) own a minimum of two devices. Only two percent of children own no devices.   

However, parents recognize that the significant presence of technology is problematic, not only for their children but also for them.


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