One of the most popular questions that parents ask these days is how much screen time is appropriate for their child. And while the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids have limited screen time between one and two hours per day, some also argue that kids getting screen time in unavoidable, and instead we should be asking about what they should watch and when.
While we may not like it, one thing is very clear: kids learn from media. So while we may be worried about how much time they spend on devices, we should be worrying about the content they’re watching. Everyone knows the saying, you are what you eat, so if we look at media as a diet that sustains our kids, it’s a wiser strategy to change what they’re watching as opposed to counting the minutes.
What kids watch is important, and as adults, how we use media in front of our kids also matters and it directly teaches them habits, good or bad, about using technology. So using media in a way that can teach kids life lessons, or to be creative and challenge themselves, will benefit them down the road. Instead of watching television programs, have your kids play stimulating online games, such as Minecraft, or Skype grandma or other family members to catch up.
Deciding when certain content is appropriate for your child’s age is also very important. While very young kids will benefit more from in-person social interactions over screens, research has started showing that limited access to media benefits older kids too. In a recent study conducted by UCLA, sixth-graders who went five days without glancing at a screen, whether it be a smartphone or television, ended up being better at reading human emotions than sixth-graders from the same school who still had access to screen time.
At Sunny Day Academy, we stand out because of our curriculum, and the way we connect with our students and their families. From infants and toddlers to school age kids, we have programs that will encourage your kids to grow and learn. Visit our website today to learn more about our programs!