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Limiting Your Children's Screen Time

Today's parents will all cite controlling their children's screen time as one of their biggest challenges.
by TNN Editor - 18 Mar, 2023 1683


Today's parents will all cite controlling their children's screen time as one of their biggest challenges.

And mind you the term 'screens' here is not only bound to mobile phones but also encompasses TV, laptops, computers, ipads, etc.

According to studies, kids who are glued to their devices for more than two hours a day are more likely to exhibit introverted nature as well as other behavioral issues, which turn into several personality disorders later in their lives.

What's even worse is that they'll develop a cognitive issue later in their childhood due to excessive use of the screens.

When a child as small as two years is exposed to incessant screen timings they are being made to process all the information on their screens which was made for relatively more developed brains of kids older than them.

This habit of constant use of screens not only disturbs the sensory pathways of their brains (thus leading to abnormal behaviors at their end) but also exposes them to a number of other challenges which are difficult even for an adult to face.

Some of these challenges include:

  • Hard time focusing
  • Obesity (munching on snacks while watching their favorite programs or exposure to ads for junk food)
  • Poor attention span
  • Irregular sleep patterns (media usage can impact your sleep quality especially when it's used prior to bedtime)
  • Less engagement in physical activities
  • Poor academic performance
  • And, in some cases, even violence

If you let your children be on their devices for more than two hours, you might have felt any (if not all) of these odd signs in their attitude, which is quite alarming.

But don't worry, that's not the end of the world. There's still some hope in the form of these tricks that you can bring into practice and let your kids not face these challenges at such an early stage of their lives.

According to studies, by the age of 2, a child is more receptive to his/her surroundings. This is the time when the ever-observing brain of a child absorbs the behaviors of the people around him, which further cements his personality (either good or bad) in the future.

So, keeping that in mind, limiting your children's screen time from an early stage will directly improve their social and mental well-being in the long run.

However, it's also crucial to understand that the quality of content that your child watches on his gadget matters more than how much time he spends using it.

That's why it's highly recommended for you as a parent to:

  • Use parental control to filter the Internet content.
  • Stay close to your kids while they are on their respective devices in order to supervise their activities.
  • Encourage them to discuss which programs, games, or apps they like to use and why.
  • And most importantly, limit your own screen time as this will help them follow in your footsteps more easily.

Being a mother of a toddler I've always been very watchful of my kid's screen timings. However, there are still some days when I'm supposed to handle a burden of tasks in a very limited time frame and the only best option that seems to keep my kid engaged is thrusting a mobile phone in her hands.

But I found a way out of this hopeless situation by ordering a pack of crayons and a sketchbook to keep her hooked for hours on end. Also, a whiteboard and some colorful markers are other options to keep these tiny minds averted from their screens for hours.

But then again, you can't keep them involved in the aforementioned activities throughout their childhood because your kids will surely use screens in the future, if not for entertainment then for certain academic purposes.

So, it's essential to teach them how to use technology wisely from an early age. And in order to educate your children to balance their own use, you should also set limits on your own screen time.