Today’s generation of youngsters are surrounded by technology, which has sparked a debate amongst professionals as to whether too much screen time is having a negative effect. Lots of parents are starting to worry, especially after research has shown lower test scores for children who spend more than 2 hours a day on their digital devices. So, how much screen time is “too much”? I’ve teamed up with a junior school in Leicestershire to explore the answers to this difficult question.
There are lots of benefits to modern technology, so it’s often hard to determine whether or not it is having a negative impact on our children. They are a great way to keep your kids occupied when they’re bored and they also provide lots of opportunities to learn. In fact, lots of teachers are using technology in their lessons to help heighten the learning experience. However, smart phones, tablets, video games consoles and all the other fancy gadgets kids have these days are promoting laziness and sedentary behaviour, which can be dangerous for their physical and mental health.
The truth is, there’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to an appropriate amount of time for your kids to spend staring at a screen. It’s up to you as their parent to determine what you think is best, as you know your child better than anyone. If you think they already get enough fresh air and physical exercise through extra-curricular activities, then a few hours of video gaming probably won’t hurt. However, if your child traps themselves in their bedroom and doesn’t interact with other people very often, then you probably need to put some new rules in place to limit the amount of screen time they’re getting.
Too much technology will only start to impact your child’s health and well-being if you (and they) let it. If their gadgets are keeping them up too late and distracting them from their homework and other chores, then it’s becoming a problem. Trust your gut and remember the phrase “everything in moderation”.