Screen time restrictions for kids are a topic of debate, but there are some studies and recommendations that suggest they can be effective.
Pros of screen time restrictions
Health benefits: Recent studies suggest that excessive screen use can have negative effects on children’s physical and mental health
Too much screen time can be linked to behavior disorders, and it can leave less time for active, creative play
Recommendations: The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages media use by children younger than and recommends limiting older children’s screen time to no more than one or two hours a day
Quality over quantity: Experts suggest that the quality of screen time matters more than the quantity, especially during the pandemic when screens have become a primary source of social interaction and learning
Cons of screen time restrictions:
Difficulty enforcing: It can be difficult to enforce screen time restrictions, especially if children are using screens for educational purposes or if parents are also using screens frequently
Not all screen time is equal: The American Academy of Pediatrics is moving away from giving specific hours for screen time because not all screen time is equal
Overall, while there are some benefits to screen time restrictions, it’s important to consider the individual needs and habits of each child and family.
Parents should monitor their child’s screen time and talk to them about the importance of sitting less and moving more.
Additionally, parents should consider making screen time as engaging as possible by planning what their child views and seeking quality videos or programming
what are some negative effects of excessive screen time on kids
Excessive screen time can have negative effects on children’s physical and mental health, including obesity, sleep problems, chronic neck and back problems, depression, anxiety, lower test scores, and higher risk of developing OCD and behavior disorders such as conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder
- The light emitted from screens can interfere with the sleep cycle in the brain and lead to insomnia
- Exposure to violent TV shows and video games can also have harmful effects on children’s behavior
- Additionally, excessive screen time can disrupt children’s social interactions and relationships with friends and family
how does screen time affect children’s mental health
Excessive screen time can have negative effects on children’s mental health. Recent research shows that kids who spend seven hours every day on screens are twice more likely to show signs of anxiety and depression
Children who spend much time on their screens rarely have time for mental breaks, connect with their surroundings, and have peaceful and quiet minds
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Additionally, just spending more time behind the screen can decrease a child’s psychological well-being
There is weak evidence for association of screentime with behavior problems, anxiety, hyperactivity and inattention, poorer self-esteem and poorer psychosocial.
For kids, anxiety, depression, and loneliness are often the result of too much screen time
All the time spent in front of screens can negatively affect children’s mental and emotional wellbeing.
Experts suggest that higher screen time and depression could be connected along with an increase in suicidal behaviors and lower one’s ability to read emotions in general.