Screen time for kids has always been an issue and a necessity of our daily lives. Since last year, it has dominated every aspect of our lives. It has become an addiction for people of all age groups. Keeping in mind all its awful impacts, screen time regulations and limitations have become very necessary.
Effects of Excessive Screen Time
- Poor eyesight - Abnormal screen time has both long and short-term effects on eyesight. Reducing screen time is the foremost advice given by doctors to improve eye problems. It is more common in teenagers these days.
- Bad posture and body ache - Constantly sitting in front of a screen for too long leads to body posture which leads to pain and stiffness in the back and other body parts.
- Irritability and lack of concentration - No matter if it's genuine official work or random scrolling of social media, inflated time spent using the screen makes a person more irritable and deprived of concentration.
- Disturbed mental health - Content on social media is not predictable. Users can never comprehend how and what can affect their mental health and make them anxious, depressed, and uneasy.
- Deprived of social bonds and efficiency - Wasting too much time on screen leaves a person with weakened friendships and bonds and also decreases their productivity and worsens their time management.
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To prevent and treat these effects in kids, it is very much necessary to regulate their screen time. Ways to do this are different for each age group. Here are a few suggestions on limiting screen time for kids of different ages.
Screen Time Recommendations by Age:
Age group 1 to 7 years
Kids from a very tender age must not be entertained via mobile phones and other gadgets. This instills in them the notion that nothing except screens are worthy and it becomes very difficult for them to get detached from these in the future. Thus, it's recommended that screen time for babies and toddlers should be kept to a minimum.
Age group 8 to 11 years
This age group mainly consists of kids who were introduced to mobile phones when they barely learned how to talk. Nowadays they are supposed to use phones and computers for their studies but parents should make sure that apart from that they don't make those things their sole leisure partner.
Age group 12 to 18 years
This is the age group that gets affected the most because of their screen time. Their obsession by this time would have become so dominant that it is very difficult for anyone to limit it. Therefore, steps to control their screen time and efforts must be taken into consideration when they are young and naive.
Implementing Screen Time Regulations
Parents play a huge role in their children's day-to-day activities. So, carrying out regulations and limitations on their children's screen time is purely their responsibility.
- Parents must not make phones and television seem a great way of curing boredom to their kids. Just normalize their existence without making it look anything special.
- They must be strict with the demands of their children. No matter how much the kid asserts the want of phones and other stuff, until the parents believe that it's the right time, they must not give children personal mobile phones, etc.
- Kids learn what they see. Parents must be responsible enough to not demonstrate something that would be toxic for their children. They must first regulate their screen time and spend ample time with family.
- Once phones and computers become essential for children's studies, parents must monitor every other activity of their child. They must be aware of whether the screen time and activities of their children are healthy for them or not.
- Children must not be availed of unlimited internet connection. With limited access to the Internet, screen time gradually decreases. They are complementary to each other. Apart from online classes and studies, parents must limit the use of the internet.
- Children must be introduced to many other beneficial and enjoyable stuff like painting, art, and craft, cooking, book reading, etc. These also boost their creativity and make them more relaxed and engaged.
Must read: Is there a link between screen time and anxiety?
It is apparent that reducing screen time is a great deal today. But this is not worth the effects it has on its users. There are many underprivileged and level-headed children who despite not having these facilities have accomplished the same tasks and goals that too more efficiently than children addicted to excessive screen time. If monitored since their tender age, this addiction can be avoided. Many things can keep a child amused and healthier than electronic gadgets.
This article has been reviewed by our panel. The points, views and suggestions put forth in this article have been expressed keeping the best interests of fellow parents in mind. We hope you found the article beneficial.