Is all Screen time creating equal?
Is there good screen time, learning and chatting with friends, gaming, and watching videos?
What’s the way to start introducing a 2-year-old to screen time without creating bad habits?
All screen time is not created equal, and the guidelines are starting to catch up to that understanding. Chats with grandparents, now a day when many grandparents are cut off from family, which used to be considered a verboten form of screen time for children younger than 18 months, ages. Those video chats matter more than ever.
Older kids, the challenge is to place reasonable limits on screen time based on activity. Video games can be a shared family activity, improve spatial reasoning, and provide a much-needed link with friends during the COVID pandemic. Certainly, sometimes we all enjoying an episode of television and the Internet. But if your kid’s sleep, attitude, or schoolwork suffer, try pulling back. When it comes to social media in particular, which tends to take place on a phone, there are more pitfalls related to mental health, and also strategies to help your kids learn how to avoid those pitfalls.
While some of the worst, most exploitative, issues on YouTube and YouTube Kids have been fixed, it remains a platform that only addresses problems when there’s an outcry. That’s not to say that there aren’t good videos, just that it’s easy to start in a place you recognize and end up in one you don’t.
online gaming isn’t a bad thing. Yet parents whose children are gamers also know that the hobby isn’t the same thing as simply spending time online or using an app. Online gaming, perhaps somewhat like social media platforms, can be all-consuming. There are levels to conquer, tricks to learn, and socializing that happens nowhere else. I think that’s what makes gaming so difficult to manage as a parent. You want to set firm boundaries so that gaming doesn’t take over your child’s life, but you don’t want to deprive them of an opportunity to spend time with friends, especially these days.
Understand the behavior
First, understand where the behavior is coming from. Generally, nasty habits fall into two categories: self-soothing (rocking, hair twirling, shirt/thumb/blankie sucking) or a response to discomfort. In the case of nose-picking, kids get a crust in their nose, so they pick at it. But picking makes the membrane of the nose raw, causing the crust to rebuild. “It’s a cycle,” says Schäfer. “It becomes an obsession to tidy up the nose.” Neither do kids have an adult’s embarrassment about indulging their less-than-polite habits. Says Munroe: “They’re just taking care of themselves — we’re the ones who are horrified.”
Kids are gross and parents are gross by association. There are a good number of Years that ware lives particularly covered in someone else’s bodily fluids. We become proficient in catching vomit with our hands. We carry around extra clothing for both the kids and ourselves, and we know that a shirt with only two stains on it is “clean”. Eventually, the kids start wiping boogers on the wall instead of on us, and we consider that a win.
This can snowball pretty quickly: first, it’s an hour of video games after school. Then it’s spending an hour in their rooms on their phones, computers, and social media. Next, it’s mindlessly sitting in front of the TV binging shows.
Set a structure and some kind of limits early before kids starting craving more and more screen time. It really can be like an addiction (in fact, many classify it as such), so it’s best to set limits early and stick to them, so this doesn’t become a dangerous and detrimental habit.