Living in a world where all of us are constantly glued to our screens, it is hard to know what is good and bad when it comes to screen time for our kids.
As people who grew up during the 80s and 90s, we constantly remember being told by our parents to ease up on watching TV and playing video games or our eyes would turn square. Little did they or we know that 20 years later, both adults and children would have screens in their pockets for the brief periods we were away from the screens we have at home.
Basically, we spend a lot more time looking at screens now than we ever have. That goes for our children too, and it was quite rightly a concern for the parents who were once kids being told that their eyes would turn square. While today's children aren't at risk of their eyes changing shape, it is hard to know whether you are doing okay when it comes to their screen time.
People recently spoke with a number of experts to find out what's right and what's wrong when it comes to screen time for children. First of all, most agreed that screen time before a child turns one is a no-no. Honestly, why would a baby need to be watching a TV, phone, or laptop before they can even walk and talk? We are fully on board with that belief.
It's when children start to get a little older that the ambiguity begins. The World Health Organization believes that toddlers should be limited to one hour of screen time per day. However, its definition of screen time isn't as strict as you might think. It doesn't include video chatting, and even video games are seen as being better than simply watching TV. Since gaming requires little ones to be engaged, the WHO argues that it is a stark improvement on merely sitting there and passively watching TV.
Your little ones might be too young for video games, though. If so, when watching TV, it's best to watch along with them if you can. Plonking them down in front of a screen while you get some work done might be the easiest option, but if you watch along with them and interact as you go it will make a world of difference. Screen time for kids doesn't have to be a bad thing, just limit it and make sure it is engaging and productive viewing.