By Jasmine London-Thomas
It is interesting to know how much the internet has changed during the past 20 years. I am a part of the generation of kids who basically saw the internet blow up to what we know it is today. One of my favorite memories as a kid was playing on the computer on various websites such as Nick.com, Disney.com, and Barbie.com. While I enjoyed doing so, we did have some screen time limitations. In school, there would be a time limit when I played educational games during free time, or at home, my parents would limit the amount of time my brothers and I were allowed to spend on the computer.
Let’s fast forward to the year 2020 when the pandemic happened. Families saw a dramatic increase in internet use and a long-term increase in television viewing because we were literally stuck at home. As a result, there have been some effects from this especially in a school setting, such as According to the Pew Research center “a majority of parents in the United States (66%) – who include those who have at least one child under the age of 18, but who may also have an adult child or children – say that parenting is harder today than it was 20 years ago…” A study shows that early exposure to screen time can affect cognitive abilities and academic performance as well.
Tips to limit screen time for young children:
- Stay accountable: Set a schedule for yourself with a time limit, for example, 1-2 hours per day
- Encourage going outside and doing outdoor activities
- Create a phone free zone during meal times
- How do you currently manage screen time at home or in school?
- Do you feel you have too much or too little screen time in your life?
- Who sets the screen time rules at home? In school?
- What is one screen time rule you wish your parents had to follow?
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