The advantages of less screen time to growing kids

07:05:00 PICT Model School 0 Comments

“Whether you are a parent or not, carving out time to turn off your devices, to disconnect from the wired world and engage with the real people who are all around you, is one of the best gifts you can give yourself and the people you love.”
– Alan Brown,entrepreneur, productivity coach

If you've ever wondered whether it's worth fighting with your child over the amount of time he/she spends in front of the TV, computer, or another screen, the answer, according to recent studies, is a resounding "yes." Reducing time with devices makes it more possible for families to actually spend time together interacting and talking to each other face-to-face and can give kids more time to go outside, get some exercise or read a book.

Recently, studies have shown that cutting down screen time can also have a positive effect on kids' physical, social, and behavioral well-being, and can even improve their academic performance.

Why limit the screen time?
Overuse of digital media and screens may put your child at a risk of:
1. Obesity
Excessive screen use or having TV in the bedroom can increase the risk of obesity. Teens who watch more than 5 hours of TV per day are 5 times more likely to be overweight than teens who watch 0-2 hours of TV. This is in part due to the fact that viewers are exposed to advertising for high-calorie foods. Viewers are also more likely to snack or overeat while watching screen media.

2. Sleep problems
Media use can interfere with sleep. Children and teens who spend more time with social media or who sleep with mobiles or I-pads in their rooms are at a greater risk for sleep problems. Exposure to light and simulating content from screens can delay or disrupt sleep.

3. Negative effect on school performance
Children and teens often use entertainment media simultaneously with school work. Such multitasking can have a negative impact on academic performance and grades.

4. Ceases creativity
Watching too much television takes away opportunity from your child to broaden his/her imagination and makes them dull and uninterested.

5. Being lazy and inactive
Sitting or lying in front of a screen the whole time makes children lethargic. Kids find it too comfortable to laze around in front of the TV instead of going out or playing a sport.

6. Expects things to always be perfect
Watching TV, your child believes that everything must entertain and you can change the channel if something doesn’t. They apply this in life as well and are disappointed at every point because they cannot control things here by merely changing the channel.

Not having control over what goes on in their life, children are often annoyed and consider life to not be fair. Because well everything turned out well for that fantasy story they saw on TV the other day. Anything not working out for them makes them feel defective and a failure.

Benefits of cutting down screen time
1. Better sleep
Poor sleep exacerbates symptoms of depression. Numerous studies have shown that blue light from a screen is harmful to sleep. By avoiding screens an hour before bed, your brain starts to relax, resulting in a better sleep.

2. Reduced anxiety and stress
Having a shut-down ritual and avoiding screens before bed, makes your child less prone to depression and anxiety and he/she is likely to be much happier.

3. Wake up more focused
The greatest benefit of avoiding screens an hour before bed is that you wake up more focused. If you’ve avoided screens before bed, you’ll be less compelled to turn on your devices first thing in the morning. When your child wakes up clear and focused, it becomes much easier to spend the early hours of their day on activities that add meaning to their life.

4. Better attention to other activities
When children are not glued to the television sets or video games, they can utilize that time for some other activities such as outdoor games, reading or even drawing or painting.

5. Better grades
Research shows that parental monitoring of kids’ media use leads to better performance in school as well as improved grades.

6. Enhances social skills
Kids spending most of the time in front of television lack social skills. Being outdoors, meeting new people in person and not online, allows your child to interact with the outside world which is extremely necessary for their adult relationships later in life.

7. Makes your child active mentally and physically.
Children who are not addicted to television, spend more time doing other stuff. Be it outdoor games, creative arts or reading a book. All these activities boost your child’s confidence and makes them active learners.

Monitoring screen time and content doesn't immediately lead to changes, but over time, there are a wide range of health and wellness benefits. Remind yourself that its worth the argument. Your child maybe one unhappy camper when his/her screen time is limited and monitored but remember, it’s worth the short term sacrifice. 


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