Screen Time for Kids. Does it Matter?

I saw this on the front page of a rubbish newspaper in the middle of last month and thought I’d share it with you all.

2016-11-29-12.26.17.jpg.jpgThe quoted Parenting Experts are saying that under 5 year olds have too much screen time and that 5 and above year olds have even more.

Needless to say, this is complete nonsense in our house. We would have to measure it by the week to get a decent data set even close to comparable to the number of hours stated in the news article.

As for playing online games, they aren’t even touched – or even known about for that matter.

It does make me wonder what kind of glue they are using to stick a child to a screen for 4 hours a day though!

I do have some educational apps on my tablet and phone: Nursery Rhymes, The Alphabet Song, Counting and Problem solving. I still use a bit of baby sensory too every so often. I also let Toddler E (22 months) watch Pegga Pig (grrr) on my mobile devices as a treat or to keep her entertained, especially if I need her to stay put or be quiet.

I’m very happy the way we use our tech and my eldest got pretty much exactly the same treatment when she was younger. She progressed into school having the knowledge of how to operate iOS and Android. This helped out hugely at Foundation level and she’s taken that skill higher into ‘Big School’.

Then there’s CBeebies. I often use the television as a source of entertainment when I need to keep the kids occupied and safe. As I’m usually on my own through the week, I need it while I prepare our evening meal. This would usually be between 30 minutes and up to two hours, if at all, depending on the days circumstances. Homework for my eldest drastically changes things – there’s often no time for telly! All this leads to the kids considering the TV a treat.

As far as I know, the blue wavelength light from screens can help fool the body into behaving like it is daytime. This boosts Serotonin levels and can disrupt sleeping patterns (Circadian Rhythm), which can lead to all sorts of mayhem around nighttime or evenings. Routine and sleep is key with us and we follow it as closely as we can; meaning the less screen time the better.

A friend of mine recently told me she has reduced TV time for her two kids and the impact on behaviour has been extremely positive. I think less television means better interaction, better learning, and better relationships! I believe kids have to have time to play and discover to help build a confidant, balanced individual.

What are the rules in your house with screen time? Have you had to change the way your kids spend their time? Do you let them watch as much as they like if they’ve been good enough? Let us know in the comments below.

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Screen Time for Kids. Does it Matter?

4 thoughts on “Screen Time for Kids. Does it Matter?

  1. I think the screen time debate has become so focussed on ‘how much’ and ignoring ‘what’ kids watch. There is a huge difference between watching something that will aid the moral, intellectual, or social development, than playing Candy Crush or watching endless you tube unboxing videos on a loop.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I wish I could tell you we were perfectly disciplined as a family, but we aren’t. We do limit screen time but they kids get more than I’m entirely comfortable with. That said, we have to see it in perspective. Both also do karate, the eldest gymnastics, the youngest swimming and football while the eldest also does piano lessons. Both attend Sunday School. There’s a hiuge mix in there of ‘active’ activites and social activities. They don’t spend their whole time in front of a screen and its those kids who do that I think really suffer. Also, as Simon says, it’s also a case of what not so much how much. We’ve gone to streaming media because of the lack of adverts. Those commercials aimed at kids are just shocking.


    1. Thanks for the comment John. I can’t stand those adverts either. It’s unbelievable that we pay for some channels and then they seem to saturate us with awful commercials. We’re quite allergic to them in our house – it’s a good job the telly isn’t on constantly.


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