Saturday, December 3, 2022

How Your Kids Can Actually Benefit From Screen Time

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As adults, it’s impossible to escape the use of screens, both at work and at home—and for kids, it’s increasingly no different. Given how much more screen time kids engage in today as compared to the past, it’s certainly an issue that most parents should—and do—take seriously. However, as research is showing, when used appropriately and in moderation, screen time can offer some benefits.

“It’s really more about context than quantity,” said Jennifer Brull, a family physician and spokesperson for the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Make sure screen time is age-appropriate

In a recent review of the research on the effects of screentime, one major finding by a number of studies is that the quality of media a child is consuming is important. This includes making sure your child is using screen time at a level they can understand, which will give them the opportunity to learn by picking up a new vocabulary word, learning about things like washing your hands after using the bathroom, or just learning about the world in general.

“Screen time can expose kids to things they wouldn’t otherwise go to see,” said Devorah Heitner, author of the book Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World. As Heitner notes, Sesame Street has long played an important role in teaching children about the world through educating them about letters and numbers, or learning about different languages and cultures.

Today, there are a number of additional programs that can help your child learn similar concepts—the important part is that it needs to be at a level they can understand, so they can learn from it.

Prioritize parent-child interaction during screentime

One of the major ways that children learn is through interactions with others, whether it’s having a parent respond to their questions, or having a caregiver narrate to them what is going on. Screen time can expose your child to language, but it won’t provide that interaction. “The screen is not going to say anything appropriate back to them,” Brull said, whereas a parent will.

With that in mind, though, screen time in the form of a television show or interactive game can act as a catalyst for parent-child interaction—you can answer questions about what they are seeing, or point out details that can serve as a learning opportunity.

For older children, “watching a show together can give kids and their parents a shared common task,” Heitner said, with the added advantage being that this shared interest can act as a conversation starter. “This can be a way to understand their interests,” Heitner said.

Don’t have television playing in the background

One of the final recommendations is to avoid having television running in the background. Having television running in the background causes two major issues: It reduces the quantity and quality of parent-child interaction, and it distracts kids from whatever they are doing. “Some kids can completely ignore it,” Brull said, whereas for other kids, “if the screen is on, that’s all they are looking at.”

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Disclaimer: This story is generated from RSS Feed and has not been created or edited by Waba News. Publisher: Lifehacker

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