We’ve all done it, you need to check some things off your to-do list so you put on the TV, hand over a tablet and suddenly a couple hours have gone by.
While not all screen time is bad, children over 2 should have no more than an hour, maybe two, a day according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Less screen time means more green time, more family time. Here are some of the benefits of structuring and reducing your family’s screen time.
More time for outside play
According to a recent study from the Office of Head Start, playing outside improves children’s mental and physical health. Playing outdoors encourages your child to better understand their environment, soak up vitamin D and explore untapped imagination as they discover all that is around them.
Exposure to light (particularly blue light) and stimulating content from screens can delay or disrupt sleep, which in turn can have a negative effect on school. Reduce exposure to screen lights an hour before bedtime to help ease your child into dreamland.
Reduced eye strain
When kids are young their eyes are developing at a very fast rate, too much screen time can put too much strain on their eyes and have an adverse effect. Being outside in natural light allows your child to start understanding depth and increasing coordination.
More time for family time
When you’re unplugged with your kids, you all can be more present to create memories that will be cherished. Make dedicated time to try something new, the whole family will have fun and will learn in the process.
While it’s important to limit children’s screen time don’t forget to be a role model for your little one. When your child is trying to talk to you, listen intently putting down the phone. This will help them build empathy and set a good example. How do you promote healthy screen habits?