Kids' screen time: the best and easiest way for you to actually get things done at home WITHOUT being interrupted ten times. 

 

And while most of us mums would struggle to get clothes washed or even leave the house without relying on a device of some sort, it doesn't stop us worrying that we are possibly harming our kids in the process. 

 

There are countless amounts of studies that suggest children under the age of two should not have any screen time, while it should be limited to just one hour a day for under-fives.

 

 

In recent years however, experts are now trying to avoid a blanket-ban as such, and are calling on parents to make their own judgement in terms of what does and doesn't work for their kids.

 

“We want [parents] to focus on getting enough sleep, play, family routines, conversation, social time and exercise,” says paediatrician Jenny Radesky of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

 

“And we recommend [parents] try to do this by creating unplugged times of day and zones of the home, prioritising family time and play, and having rules like device curfews.”

 

Is it all bad? 

 

We all know that allowing your child have free time to play and use their imagination is extremely important - and that they are less likely to learn from a device than from real life experiences. 

 

However, while it is vital it doesn't replace books and/or playing, there are things certain apps, shows and even websites that can actually be good for your little one. Just make sure you don't allow them to watch it passively or on their own.

 

 

So what are the dangers of too much or bad quality screen time? 

 

Well, it can actually have a powerful effect on your child, particularly in terms of their mood and mental health. 

 

"Moodiness. Restlessness. Strange cravings. Incoherent speech. An inability to focus on tasks that require concentration. Emotional outbursts. These qualities may be used to describe a person on drugs or trying to quit smoking," Nicole Crawford from Breakingmuscle.com writes. 

 

"They also perfectly express what my four-year-old daughter is like after a two hour Disney movie."

 

 

The MayoClinic links it to obesity, loss of social skills, violence, irregular sleep schedules and behavioural problems.

 

And Michelle Obama, who campaigned to end childhood obesity, called for parents to curtail their kids' screen time

 

What can a parent do to reduce it? 

  • Only use high-quality media for young children
  • Engage with your child while they are watching or playing with a device
  • Don't allow screens in the bedroom - and switch them off an hour before they go to sleep
  • Make meal times device-free

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