Screen time for k̶i̶d̶s̶ parents
It is so common to see parents letting their child look at their smartphones while they eat, or even in bed. Although it is an easy way out to keep the children to sit still as parents get their things done, it is definitely not the right thing to do.
Excessive screen time can have negative effects on children’s physical health (e.g. sedentary behavior, disrupted sleep patterns), mental health (e.g. decreased attention span, increased anxiety, depression), and cognitive development (e.g. delayed language development, reduced social skills).
Screen time refers to the amount of time spent using electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, computers, and televisions. It can include activities such as browsing the internet, watching videos, playing games, and social media use.
The World Health Organization (WHO) issued strict guidelines that there should be no screen time for children younger than 2 years old, while it should only be 60 minutes a day for those between 3 and 4 years old.
However, these guidelines are not only for children, but also for adults. Excessive screen time can lead to a variety of negative effects such as poor sleep, eye strain, and even depression, so it’s important for everyone to balance their screen time with other activities such as exercise, social interaction, and hobbies.
Parents need to be mindful of their own screen time and to set limits for themselves in order to maintain a healthy balance in their lives. It can be helpful to set specific times of the day when screens are not used, such as during family meals or after a certain time in the evening.
Additionally, parents can make an effort to engage in other activities, such as exercise, social interaction, and hobbies, to help reduce their screen time.
This is because children learn through observation and imitation. They tend to model their behavior after what they see from their parents and other significant adults in their lives. So, if you’re going to be glued to your smartphone, so will they.
Since setting screen time for adults can be a personal process and can vary depending on needs and habits, here are some general tips for setting screen time:
Establish limits – Determine a daily or weekly maximum for screen time and stick to it.
Use tools – Utilize technology to help you monitor and limit your screen time, such as smartphone settings or apps that track usage.
Set goals – Decide what you want to accomplish during your non-screen time and make those activities a priority.
Make time for other activities – Engage in physical exercise, hobbies, spending time with loved ones, reading, or other non-screen activities to maintain a balanced life.
Limit distractions – Turn off notifications and minimize interruptions during non-screen time.
Create technology-free zones – Designate certain areas of your home or office as screen-free spaces.
Take breaks – Take regular breaks from screens and practice good posture and eye health habits.
You might be shocked by how much time you actually have once you start changing your screen-time behaviours. You’ll be better able to concentrate on what really matters, like family, job, and real life when your mental process isn’t hijacked by those reels, emojis or comments.