By Kristie Kakos

All you hear is crying, yelling, and a tantrum. You are trying to enjoy a hot meal out, but have a two-month-old and a 2-year-old. The toddler is tugging at your shirt to pick her up. The baby wants her bottle. Then, the toddler screams because the table next to you is trying to talk to her, but she does not want to be bothered by a stranger. It has been 15 minutes, and nobody is there to take your order! You, your kids…you’re just frustrated. You give your toddler crayons, a snack, and some milk. This lasts for 25 minutes. You know you are on an expiration date if you do not have reinforcements. BOOM! Take out Mama’s smartphone. There you have it… Disney +. This is a story of a parent’s life most of the time. This was my story today at breakfast.

The ongoing saga about screen time and children will continue to be one for the ages.
Is screen time horrible for kids? Is screen time healthy for kids? The honest truth… It can go both ways. It is up to the parents to do what is best for your young ones. You need to do what is best for you as well at times. What was best for me today, was a little moderation of screen time so I could eat a hot meal here and there.

According to the Healthy Young Minds article, What Does Too Much Screen Time Do to Kids? Get The Facts, “Screen time is an essential reality today for adults and kids, and it’s not realistic to eliminate it from our lives completely. However, it’s important to always be cognizant that screen time takes away from human interaction and physical activity which are vital to maintain a healthy mind and body” (What Does…2023). So basically, this means moderation is key.
There are multiple resources that agree that screen time should be in doses. This means one to two hours of screen time is sufficient if your youngster is older than two, and none if under two (Christensen, 2022). There is also an agreement that they should be watching something educational in some level for at least a portion, especially for ages 2-5 (What Does…2023).

If your child is watching excess amounts of screen time this can cause sleep deprivation. This can cause fatigue. This can also allow more time for snacking/eating. Thus meaning obesity may occur (Christensen, 2022). Plus, excess amounts of screen time can impair their social skills. The Healthy Young Minds article states, “One study found that kids aged 3 to 6 years who spent more time on screens had fewer opportunities to engage in face-to-face interactions, which are essential for developing social skills such as empathy, cooperation, and conflict resolution” (What Does…2023). The choice is yours.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you think children should have screen time?
  2. Do you think limiting screen time for children is appropriate?
  3. What other reasons that are not listed could be contributors to too much screen time?
  4. Do you think screen time should have different rules based on various age milestones?

Resources:


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