Friday, November 4, 2011
As a parent, I've always felt strongly about limiting TV time. Then a new report made me realize TV isn't necessarily the screen I should be concerned about. A study by the non-profit group Common Sense Media found children ages 0 to 8 spend more time watching TV, DVDs or in front of computers and mobile devices than reading. The study found even children as young as two spend time at a computer every day.
We rarely turn on our television and when we do, it's on PBS. However, when it comes to digital devices like smart phones, tablets, and laptop computers, our kid has seen and used them all. What makes me pay close attention to the study is the fact that our kids are exposed to these things at such a young age. I can already picture the day when I tell my son that when I was a little girl, things like cell phones, iPads, and the Internet didn't exist. That's going to rock his world.
While we can't avoid new technology or television, I think it's important to talk to your kids, even the youngest ones, about the importance of reading or playing outside above spending time in front of a screen. It's also up to parents to spend more time reading and playing with their kids. Parents should be there and interacting with the child while he is playing a game or using an app rather than leaving him in front of a screen.
How do you handle screen time with your kids?