Kids love screen time. From watching their favorite television series to playing video games, it can be hard to separate them from their entertainment. However, spending too much time in front of a screen can be detrimental for a child’s development. Here are some ways excessive screen time can be bad for kids and how to remedy it.
A child who is constantly using screens is going to have a difficult time coping without them. It can become as much of a crutch as the need to suck their thumb. You know that they can’t be staring at a computer or tablet 24/7, but if they’ve been doing it long enough, they might have a hard time loosening their grip. If you don’t intervene early, your child could have trouble enjoying even a moment of brief silence without a screen. You can also use apps or native settings to limit and monitor the screen time of a child.
Resource: Limit Your Child’s Screen Time | Verywell Family
Being active is a crucial part of a child’s development. When one is taking part in screen time, they’re unlikely to be running or jumping around. Laying around for hours at a time isn’t healthy for anyone, especially not children. Excessive screen time takes away time that could be used for aerobic activities. Not only that, but excessive screen time can lead to lack of sleep, or poor quality of sleep and should be watched for.
How to cut back on screen time
First, you need to be honest with yourself about how much screen time your child has. If they’re watching videos all day, you’re going to have to careful with how you help them curtail their habit. Don’t try to make it into a punishment. Suggest fun activities that don’t involve screens. These can include going to the zoo or working with Legos. If your child is engaged enough, they might not even miss screens during it.
Resource: iOS 12 Improves Parental Controls | Simply Mac
Social development limitations
Another crucial part of a child’s development is socializing. They need the benefits of regular interactions with others their age. If the only thing they know about the world is based on YouTube videos or DVDs, they’re going to end up with a very warped perception of how to communicate. Arrange playdates and other gatherings to help your child’s social development.
Resource: Fun Ways to Teach Children Effective Communication Skills | Creation Ministries
If your child is addicted to screens, you won’t be able to get them to stop cold turkey. You need to learn how to gradually wean them off their frequent usage and encourage activities with more long-term satisfaction. Serve as a positive example by limiting how much time you spend in front of screens. Help them understand for themselves what is too much, and how to stop when necessary. Also help them know the negative effects of being in front of screens too much, so that they can be personally responsible. This is your chance to really help strengthen the bond between you and your child.