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Screentime and children

  • By Amal Jameel Sabba
  • June 15, 2020

With screens virtually everywhere, controlling a child’s screen time can be challenging. What complicates matters is that some screen time can be educational for children as well as support their social development. So how do you manage your child’s screen time? Here’s a primer on guiding your child’s use of screens and media.

The problems with screens

Unstructured play time is more valuable for a young child’s developing brain than is electronic media. Children younger than the age of 2 are more likely to learn and remember information from a live presentation than from a video.

By the age of 2, children can benefit from some types of screentime, such as programming with music, movement, and stories. By watching together, you can help your child understand what he or she is seeing and apply it in real life. However, passive screentime shouldn’t replace reading, playing, or problem-solving.

As your child grows, keep in mind that excessive use of screens or poor quality screentime linked to:

  • Obesity
  • Irregular sleep schedules and shorter duration of sleep
  • Behavioral problems
  • Loss of social skills
  • Violence
  • Less time to play

How to limit screen time and keep our children safe?

Develop screentime rules such as (when and what to watch).

Use parental controls to block or filter internet content.

When watching different programs with your children, please discuss what you’re watching and educate them.

Encourage  your older child to think critically about what they see on their screens

Set reasonable limits for your child’s screentime.

Online relationships and social media have become a significant part of adolescent life. Explain what’s allowed and what’s not for your kids.

Amal Jameel Sabba
Eds in special education
Manager of Artzania Centre

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