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Screen time and kids- does it matter?

A report released by Common Sense Media in 2017 states that 8 to 12-year-olds spend an average of 4 hours and 36 minutes every day on screen media.

Depending on our own experience, this figure may shock or normalise our own children activities on line. As a parent of a 5 year old, 4 hours a day on screen seems a lot. But then talking to parents of older children, and when they average in week ends too, these numbers are met with ‘ well maybe it is about that..’

How much screen time is enough/safe/healthy is going to be a continuing topic of research with some experts reassuring that actually its not as bad as we think it might be and then others advising that we restrict time on line from an early age.

Ultimately it is our choice- as parents and then as our children become young adults helping them to decide- what the best balance is. 

At Noggin we are all about the #brain and there is no doubt that for learning and having fun screens have a lot to offer our youngsters ( and us oldies too!) 

But its not without challenges- especially around sleep and the way the blue light emitted from screens can affect our kids sleep patterns as well as distraction by thinking about their latest level on game or what they have just read on line.

We think it’s important to focus on the idea of connection, both on screen and off.

Making the decision to turn your screen off and do something else , or helping your child to do this is a really important way to help focus on reconnecting. Helping them enjoy their screen time but then deciding when enough is enough and how not being glued to the blue light can actually be fun-

Some ideas include…

#simplethings #conversation- a 10 year old told me this week how cool it was that when he talked to his step parent more at home it was really cool to learn more bout them,

talking to their friends outside school, playing a #sport or learning a new activity, going for a #walk or to the #park. 

Screens can also HELP connection too- such as sitting down to #movie together, talking about the games you are playing or maybe using a game or a language app that several members of your family group can get into, or maybe even helping gran or grandad do an online shop or read something on line