Lately, screen time for children has been a very hot button issue. Many people are very divided on where they stand with screen time, but most people agree that screen time before 2 should be extremely limited. Ages 0-2 are known as the “critical period”. Children’s brains are developing very rapidly and are very sensitive to the environment. The changes that happen during these first years become the permanent foundation upon which all later brain function is built.
From ages 2-5, screen time should happen with an adult present and it’s a good idea to keep screens in common areas of the house. Keep in mind, children see and hear everything, including scary news reports, so be aware of what is on television and that it’s age appropriate. If your child has a hard time ending screen time, setting clear expectations can be very helpful. A time can be a useful tool in this situation, as is teaching children to take responsibility for turning the screens off when the time comes.
If you feel like your child has too much time in front of a screen, try a screen free weekend! Increase exposure to greenery, nature, and sunlight. Green spaces enhance mental health and learning capacity by lowering stress levels and restoring attention. Go for a walk in the woods, collect items, and then make an art project with them!