Screen Time: Find the Right Balance for Your Child

Article I read is by Patti Ghezzi

This site had a work sheet to fill out if we wanted to track how much screen times kBlog Pixids or adults had.  The problem is not with this chart but that no one really tracks their time realistically. So if I look at my phone once every hour–how much time is that?  Is it 2 or 3 minutes or is that 12-20 minutes each hour.  Parents do not estimate kids times and kids are not realistic about the amount of time they spend on or in front of screens.

Are our kids having meaningful screen time or is it convenient for parents?  The question is educational games or age appropriate games okay or does it lead to kids who are aggressive, who don’t want to play outside and does it make it difficult for our kids to pay attention in school?

This article talked about kids who watched Sesame Street during the preschool years are “still doing better in high school” than those who did not.  Which means that we might need to look at the QUALITY of what our kids are watching.

Article states that kids younger than 3–no: tv, computer or video games. These were the guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). I wonder what the “Baby Einstein” makers feel about that?  Then they say Elementary School age: 1 hour per day and Middle Schoolers: 2 hours per day.  I am wondering if these are unrealistic?

AAP went on to say that more than 2 hours a day and kids will have problems; like concentrating in school because:

  • flickering lights
  • changes in imagery
  • instant gratification
  • kids always wanting that same level of brain stimulation

One tangible way to budget kids screen time–tokens.  Give them 10 tokens for 10 hours of screen time–pay a token to play that game for an hour etc.  Kids will likely be more conscientious about what they spend their time on and how long they are actually on.   I need to look to see if there are apps or online tools that track screen time.

The AAP also issued statement about screen time and aggression.  It states that over a thousand different studies were used and the results were all pretty much the same. Exposure to media violence ( I love it when they said, “even the cute, cartoonish games) can bring out aggression in kids.”  If you harm something–you harm it.

Angry birds was sited as one with low violence, some games reward positive decisions, some help them to learn–by providing practice.

My take away: Does quantity and quality matter–yes!  I thing our kids are spending far too much time in front of screens.  I think I might investigate how much screen time at school is too much?  Hmmmmmmmm…..

Ghezzi, Patti. “Screen Time: Finding the Right Balance for Your Child.” School Family. n.d. Web. 14 March 2015.

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About kreiber

Media/Tech Specialist, loves middle school students, techy, reader, life-long learner who needs a place to keep all the great books she reads and wants to share with others and a proud mom!
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