Out of our own inability to entertain our kids all the time, we hand them over gadgets. No sooner, the children are addicted. Gadgets for kids act as shortcuts for us. While we feed them they watch Youtube, while we eat, they are playing games on the phone, etc. We are told its not good. We know its not good, but we succumb to the temptation of making them eat quicker or be at peace for sometime. But, you must know the drastic impact that screen-time or gadget time is likely to have on your child.
Screen Time Recommendations by Age
So, below are efficient parenting tips for gadget time restriction according to age:
Recommended Screen Time for Under Age 2
When a kid is under age 2, children will remember more of what you teach them while interacting with them. The slower you go in interacting with them, the quicker they grasp your movements and learn.
According to Main Line Health, toddlers under 18 months should have no screen time. While small video chats with grand parents could be the right way to teach them direction and recognition, the focus must only be on teaching them by yourself.
How much screen time should a 2-5 years old have?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) vehemently sticks on its opinion that kids aged 2-3 years should not spend more than 1 hour in a day in front of the screen. At such age, the kids indeed tend to benefit from interactive stories, music, and movements. Screen time is specifically considered as a short cut in this age, wherein the parents feed the kids while they watch.
After 3 years, high-quality programming could act as a good source of entertainment for the kids for 1 hour, and they still can watch things they like. 1 hour of Peppa Pig and Masha is okay. You can even break this screen time into half and hour gaps during the day.
Parents must be aware that feeding, while they are watching, has more harm than benefits. Your kid would not know when to stop; the signals of fullness to their brains would be delayed. Hence, this brings forward the chances of obesity and overeating. Too much screen time also causes a lack of social skills, irregularity in sleep, and behavioral issues with kids.
Parenting Tips: How do I limit my child’s screen time?
Even if you are or have been aware of the issues, restricting screen time and gadgets for kids will be challenging. The sedentary behavior gadgets inculcate in the kids is dangerous, and an invitation to obesity. They must know what is real and what is virtual. Below are some quick parenting tips that can help you restrict screen-time for your kids:
Be an Example
Kids learn from their parents. You can’t restrict them from something you have been doing all the time. Avoid your phone when you are with your children. Practice what you preach.
Have Gadget Free Zones
Life is not devoid of gadgets, but certain areas of your home could be. The kids room or the dining room must not have a TV. Focus on little blisses and be in the moment.
Set their Schedule
Having a bar on screen time will actually help the kids arrive at a schedule. It could be their reward time for their efficient homework or finishing lunch.
Develop skills in your children instead of shortcuts. When taking them out on lunch, make them wear the bib and ask them to participate. Teach them how to hold their food and eat. They will like participating. When the kids have no company or nothing to look forward to, they demand screen time. Make eating an adventure.
Take them to the Playground
They must socialize and have friends. Screen time is actually hampering the friend-making ability in children. Make them learn to socialize, make friends, and play out in the open. You must take them to museums, picnics, parks, zoo, etc. to make them more indulgent in the outside world.
The most ideal parenting tip definitely is put a limit on screen time. Don’t look out for shortcuts in the form of gadgets for kids. Make eating, reading, walking, running, making friends an adventure. You also need to cut down on your habits to inculcate that in them. Talk to your children, ask them to think, be creative. You will be surprised at the growth your child shows devoid of screen-time entertainment.