Is screen time bad for kids?
Are you a parent concerned about the impact of your child’s screen time? Is time spent on screens harming your child? Or can it be good for them?
The reality is that we live in a digital world, and technology is now a big part of both your own and your child’s daily life. Kids are growing up in environments where screens are everywhere and online is the norm, shaping the way they learn, communicate and access information from an early age. It’s almost impossible to restrict screen time altogether, and with so many conflicting views, it’s okay to feel worried about its impact or overwhelmed with how to manage it.
Let’s delve a bit deeper into screen time, its pros and cons, and how, with the right support and tools, it can help prepare your child for a digital future.
Is screen time bad for kids?
Yes and no. The way we use technology is incredibly diverse, which means that not all digital screen use is the same. Sure, too much time spent passively consuming digital content is bad for young children, especially if it is causing a loss of interest in other activities, family time and social interaction. But, this doesn’t make all screen time harmful.
And this is where smartphone learning comes in. Time actively spent engaging with high-quality educational apps and interactive games makes screen time more productive and the process of learning fun.
Making screen time beneficial
You know what they say, quality over quantity. The same is true when it comes to screen time. By focusing on what your child is consuming, screen time can become a great learning tool in your child’s education. Here are ways to help make screen time a positive experience.
Using screen time for learning
Educational apps and games on smartphones are a great way to get your child to learn outside of school. Our ‘Feed the Monster’ app is proof of this, with studies showing that just 22 hours of play is equivalent to two months of attending literacy classes at a well-resourced school.
Establish reasonable rules and limits
Take a closer look at the role that screens are playing in your family’s daily lives. Do you eat dinner in front of the TV? Do the kids use their phones before bed? By establishing rules and time limits on screen time – for example, ‘no phones at the dinner table’, ‘no screen time before bed’, or ‘screen-free Saturdays’ – your child is more likely to develop a healthier relationship with digital devices.
Overall, we should not look at screen time as either good or bad. Remember, it’s more about how we use them and the content we choose to engage in. With the support of high-quality educational apps and engaging content, devices like smartphones or tablets are powerful learning tools.
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