Between online schooling, video games, and staying in touch with long distance friends, the truth is that more and more kids are spending a significant amount of their time looking at a screen. In the past, concerns have been raised about how screen interaction impacts a child’s mental health. As screens become an unavoidable part of daily life, the question stops being whether children should be kept from using computers and becomes about whether there are any negative effects that should be mitigated to keep your child mentally healthy.
Is Screen Time Bad for Children
The impacts that screen time has on a child’s psychology are generally related to attention span and physical health. Using screens has been shown to decrease a child’s ability to hold up conversations or sit quietly for extended periods in direct correlation to the amount of time that they have spent using a computer instead of publicly socializing.
At first glance, these kinds of results can sound like they doom computers as part of a child’s life. However, the decrease in socialization skills makes sense from an educational standpoint; it just might not be the future that many parents were expecting from their children. The more that kids use screens, the better they are at using screens. Those skills have to come from somewhere, which is why children who spend more time on screens might be worse at other commonly expected social skills.
Helping Your Kids Have Healthy Screen Time Habits
Modern students need to use screens. If you want to make sure that your child develops other skills on a healthy schedule, try helping them have some of the following healthy habits:
- Take breaks. Get up from the desk at least once an hour to give your mind a chance to reset.
- Change posture. Spending hours hunched over a laptop isn’t good for your back or your psychology. Make sure you’re sitting in a good posture and that you move around every 20-30 minutes.
- Spend time together. Social skills are taught by social interaction. Combat the effects of computer use by spending time interacting together as a family.
- Turn screens off before bed. Screen use can delay your ability to fall asleep. Set a standard of turning off electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime.
As screens become an expected part of society, the standards for healthy development will change. Parents can help make sure their children succeed by encouraging positive habits and general overall physical good health.