Parenting Lesson 27 - All about screen time exposure

Topics covered in this lesson-

  1. How much screen time should a child have each day?

  2. Is it all right for my preschooler to play on the computer?

How much screen time should a child have each day?

With screens virtually everywhere, controlling a child's screen time can be challenging. To complicate matters, some screen time can be educational for children as well as support their social development. So how do you manage your child's screen time? Make sure that your child is not spending more than a hour per day that too on a high quality programming.

Unstructured playtime is more valuable for a young child's developing brain than is electronic media. Children younger than age 2 are more likely to learn and remember information from a live presentation than they are from a video.

By age 2, children can benefit from some types of screen time, such as programming with music, movement and stories. By watching together, you can help your child understand what he or she is seeing and apply it in real life. However, passive screen time shouldn't replace reading, playing or problem-solving.

Is it all right for my preschooler to play on the computer?

Its OK to let your preschooler play on the computer occasionally. Letting your preschooler play with the computer is an easy way to buy some downtime when you need it. But always be careful about the time duration which your preschooler spending on the computer and make share if its balanced with plenty of outdoor or active play, plus lots of quality family interactions.

Watch and listen to how your preschooler is engaging. Make sure that the computer is age appropriate. Can your kid understand the words? Manipulate the game? Really young kids are still developing their fine motor skills, so unless you want a frustrated child on your hands, make sure a game doesn't require lots of coordination.

Build positive habits. Remember that kids quickly develop routines. If they associate going to restaurants or driving in a car with playing games on your computer, it will be difficult to transition them out of this behavior.