In today’s digital age we are constantly connected to the online world with access to digital media virtually anywhere, anytime. But what does this mean for the growth and development of our children?
Dr Kristy Goodwin shares 6 helpful questions that you can address to determine if your child’s screen-time is healthy or detrimental, and to help you encourage appropriate screen-time habits at home.
1. What type of screen-time?
How your child uses a screen varies. For instance, are they using screen-time for leisure or learning? Are they active or passive? It is important that parents manage not only how much screen-time their children are having but the type of content they are consuming and engaging with.
2. When to avoid screen-time?
Minimising screen usage 60 – 90 minutes before sleeping or napping is proven to improve the quality and depth of a child’s sleep.
3. Where are screens used?
Tech free zones in the house and social settings should be encouraged so that boundaries are set from an early age. Recommendations for ‘screen-free zones’ include bedrooms and meal areas, and during meals and outdoor play time.
4. How is the screen used?
Consider how long your child is staring at a screen without giving their eyes a break. Encourage them not to have a laptop or tablet screen on their lap to reduce possible electromagnetic radiation risks and limit headphones to no more than 1 hour per day to protect their ears.
5. Who is your child using a screen with?
Encourage your child to use their screen with a parent, sibling or peer to manage the type of content they are consuming. For example, have screen-time with your child to use educational apps to assist with their learning.