It is a simple questions – how much time should my child be spending in front of a screen. Some children would spend all day in front of a screen if given the option. Several studies have been performed and have come up with guidelines for how much time children should be spending in front of a screen.
For children under two it is recommended that they do not use screens at all. The only exception is to use video chat with family members who are remote and cannot physically be present with the child.
For children aged two to five no more than one hour a day is recommended. The types of media that they should be using is advised to be high quality age appropriate material. There is quite a lot of literature about what is age appropriate and just because it is rated for the age group or is produced by a children’s media company does not necessarily mean it is good for their brain development. Fast paced, continually flashing shows with fast cuts and intense fast music has been shown to be detrimental, it high intensity and can work children up. Slower paced shows with a story line to follow are more recommended.
Children older than five there is a bit more discussion and flexibility, as they get older, school projects and work increases this often necessitates the use of a screen. Further as they reach teen years their independence grows. The often accepted time limitation is one to two hours per day of recreation/leisure time on a screen.
Keeping to these guides can help you maintain a happy and healthy child who is active, socialises with other children and frees their mind to explore and play.
Pixel Pounds can help you in sticking to the guidelines using incentives and a simple way to track how much time has been spent on a screen.