Children and 'Screentime'!

By:Nada Al Nasser.

What is 'screentime'?

'Screentime' is the particular time period spent by your child using a technological device such as a computer, television,phone or games console.

why is screen time important?some statistics regarding the screentime of young children-

'Screentime' is important because our current generation, has become increasingly involved with technology more than ever before this refers to all types of technological devices such as phones,televisions,ipads etc. and the time spent on these devices has increased exceedingly,but with this childrens health and wellbeing as well as there educational knowledge has decreased this has a major impact on children especially because they are being born into now what is being referred to as the 'digital age' or the 'digital revolution'.

In fact in 2011 a survey was conducted and the amount of children UNDER 15 who own any type of technological devices today has increased from 58% in 2000 to 91% in 2011.

AND 87% of these children are exposed to internet on these devices.

shocking?? yes.

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positives of children and screen time

Screentime can have many positive outcomes on your child if done or used correctly and supervised by you, as an parent or guardian. Children have been exposed previously to technology through learning and using labtops and devices at school.Now because of technology increase it helps children with communication and sharing skills with fellow classmates,Your child may have their own edmodo that can help them to communicate with friends and fellow class mates, this improves your child's social development.

Another positive is that now many devices require children to use there fingers this can assist your child's physical development because it provides guidance to them with their hand eye coordination skills. These skills can help your child through schooling and future careers ,and since 90% of children in the country own a device or a capable of accessing one they would excel in this particular area.

Overall we find as parents find children and screentime beneficial in the fact that it has educational purposes and now due to the increase in technology ,their are many apps,games and TV shows that are created which soulbase is to help children in many schooling areas before and during school,example literacy and numeracy.

Furthermore technology and screentime for your child can help them to obtain more knowledge of the world around them (example through news or TV shows) which would increase the child understanding of the world through the technological devices it can also allow the child to communicate with family members and friends in other countries or states through apps,example Skype.

To conclude,children can learn or can improve in many aspects through screen time positively if supervised and guided by you as parents or guardians, which leaves us with the observation that screen time can have positive effects on our children.

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negatives of children and screentime

Negatives are known to be found in the area of children and screentime. there are a range of negatives that impact children in all areas of development today. but since we are in the 21st century were technological devices are now even able to send millions of things in an instant, we as parents expect some sort of damage to be done on our children.However, we are not aware of all the dangers it is capable of causing to our children this includes-

addiction to the technological device

decrease in physical activity (obesity)

health damage (not enough sleep.straining eyes{eye damage})

decrease in educational knowledge (no longer focusing on education)

isolation (not socially interacting with other children)

no relationships(no family or friend relationships)

lack of enthusiasim(laziness)

impact on families(no longer sitting at a table without a child playing on a game, watching a movie or texting a friend).

as it can be seen negatives of screentime outweigh the positives because of statistics shown to prove that parents do not supervise their children instead use technology as a babysitter,which in many circumstances leads to the childs addiction to that particular piece of technology which decreases their educational knowledge, yes it in some cases it is the child who goes on the technology behind their parents but you as parents should be aware of this maybe not at the beginning but by the childs appearance and state of mind it can be identified. this is an example to you parents out their on how technology effects your family- a family use to have dinnertime every night and talk about their school day now they bought their children devices butdid not tell them they cant bring it to the table then over weeks the children don't bother to make it down to eat anymore they stay in their rooms and the family drifts further apart,the point of this example is that to avoid the negative effects on your children ,supervise and set boundaries.

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recommendations of suggested screentime use for children

We as parents are aware their are many negative sides to screentime but what we do not think of is how or why these negatives have occurred, but research, research has it all and it all has to do with the idea of-

-supervision from parents and guardians, in any case it is extremely important for you as parents to be present when your child/children are accessing any technological device.

-calculate how much time your child has been on the device/technology.

-minimise the time your child is on the technological device.

-download plenty of beneficial and educational documents or downloads to the devices/technology.

-confiscate the device after a particular time (e.g. 9pm).

-create boundaries to when and where your child can use the technological device.

-introduce you're child to technology at an appropriate age.

-make sure you know exactly what your child is accessing.

-pin lock or lock everything you do not wish for your child to access or find that is inappropriate for their age.

-be strict and honest with your child and make sure they know you are putting the rules in action for their protection and well being because in the long run these rules and regulations are put in place to provide protection and security for your child and to increase their wellbeing and health.

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why we parents may not stick to these recommendations?stratergies we can use to overcome this?

Looking at the previous recommendations above some of you parents may find it hard to stick to the addressed recommendations and as parents it is natural and it can be difficult to be straight forward with your child and to tell them what they can and cant do, because of the fear it will impact the child in the future.

Some strategies to overcome the fear is to think of the positive effects the technology can have on your child and to think of the negative effects you can be minimising or eliminating by following the previous recommendations.

Also do the recommendations one by one and set them as a rule in your house hold not all at once so one by one your child can slowly ease into the recommendations and new rules.

make sure you are capable to atleast to maintain the rule for a week and to be strict when its broken so the children can be aware of your seriousness.