“We used to limit screen time before, but now we have little choice now. I have to give my child the mobile phone since the classes are now online, there is almost no time for the child to rest his eyes”
– Father of Year 4 student.
The debate about screen time is always a hot topic. With the quarantine and online learning, a lot of parent have thrown restrictions on screen time out of the window.
It is however important to remember that the real issue with screen time is its displacement of other key activities needed for a child’s development. Too much of anything even if its good can still be bad for a child. And screen time, usually refers entertainment screen time – schoolwork, doing creative activities or video chats doesn’t count.
Good health and development require that adequate time is made for sleep, reading, social & family connections, physical activity and chores
Here are the tips to ensure your screen time is not adversely affecting your child’s development
1. Ensure your child is getting enough sleep: Screen time must not interfere with sleep.For 3-5-year-olds it is recommended they get 10-13 hours’ sleep and never less than 9 hours. While 6-13-year-olds need 9-11hours and never less than hours.
2. Physical Exercise is a Must: Increased screen time has been linked to childhood obesity. It is important that your child is physically active daily, especially during the quarantine. Go for walks or do exercises indoor or let them play football or just run around. Keep them physically active
3. Dedicated time for social and family connection: With staycation and quarantine, a lot of parents are using call, video chat, or social media to help their children stay connected with their classmates and friend. Social connections are important for children and critical for preventing depression. Turning off background screens such as televisions or computers during playtime or meals or car drives can help family members connect with each other offline.
4. Ensure online safety: One of the major downsides to screen time and your child being online is cyber bullying, misinformation and exposure to adult content and predators. Kids’ minds are not the same as those of adults and might feel the additional pressures created by social media “appearances, FOMO and keeping up with the Jones”.
5. Watch high-quality, educational content: While it now more understandable to have more screen time now — it is important to focus on the type of screen time. Ensure most of your child’s screen time is supporting learning and positive behaviour…
With 9ijakids educational games you can find high quality content not just for teaching the core subjects (Maths, English and Science) but also for driving values and needed behaviours.
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