One of the hot topics parents ask me about all the time is managing their children’s exposure to technology. Technology is a great invention in many ways, it gives us the opportunity to stay in touch and to find information at the touch of a button. However, it can also be really dangerous and too much exposure to screens can have a large impact on your child’s development both academically and socially.
If you are worried that your child is spending more time staring at a screen than playing, then you are not alone.
- It is reported that children in 2015 aged 8 yrs and under spent around 2 hours with some sort of screen every day eg: TV, IPAD or games console.
- Older children spend on average close to 45 hours per week watching TV, playing video games, messaging and listening to music online. Far more than they spend with their parents or in the classroom.
- The amount of time that children on average spend in front of a screen has doubled since 1999 and we do not really know the impact that this will have on their development.
So why should we be alarmed by this? There are many concerns but the ones that really strike me are:
- Childhood obesity is increasing and experts believe that one of the reasons is because children are not getting enough exercise and eating a healthy diet. Too much screen time, whether it is in front of a TV, computer or video game is part of the problem.
- Children who watch violent content spend less time with friends than children who watch non-violent content, resulting in greater isolation.
- Watching violent or aggressive programmes can increase the rate of physical behaviour in children as they copy what they see.
- Children who spend more than 2 hrs in front of a screen per day are more likely to drop in school performance.
- Too much time in front of a screen can lead to emotional problems such as depression.
It can be really hard and frustrating to manage our kids screen time as it may well end in anger and upset. If this is something that you are concerned about why not join our next workshop Managing Screen Time. In this dynamic workshop we will discuss with both Mums and Dads how best to manage technology within your own family and explore what may / may not work for you as a family. Supporting you to create the right balance within your family between technology, school, social time and family commitments without losing your patience.
Wishing you all the best and hope to meet you soon.