Screen time. It’s incredible. It’s dangerous. There’s lots of opinions but not a vast amount of research.
Our opinion, embrace it with informed choice.
2020 has seen some of the most creative and beneficial uses of electronic devices than ever before. We have been able to keep in touch with those important to us and connect with professionals to stay productive. We’ve kept fit and held parent workshops virtually. Screen time can be incredibly beneficial from a social aspect during the pandemic and also from a developmental perspective.
Number 1 tip is to co-view any and all content that younger children are consuming. Especially when it’s for the first time. Play the game with them, watch the movie together and ensure you can assess its level of appropriateness whilst observing how they might be responding. You know your child and can consider whether they are having a positive experience.
Be patient and set clear boundaries with your little one. Agree these things together eg where the device might be stored while it’s being charged or when not in use. Discuss whether they might prefer to have it after a meal or just at the weekends. Be patient and model calm behaviour when using the device. Reinforce a problem solving attitude without showing frustration to encourage positive usage.
Be curious together and explore their interests or opportunities to find further information using the devices. Discuss the benefits of using the device such as being able to connect with family members or friends via video call. Prepare yourself to share information around the less beneficial sides of screen time and how we can enjoy them more if we use them in moderation.
Attached is a graphic contributed to by young people to share their thoughts of screen time and could be useful when planning your conversations.