Screen time and media use among children are popular themes in our digital society. These are subjects that include a lot questions when it comes to the upbringing of children. In fact, more questions are asked about his, than about sleeping and nutrition. Therefore, we take you into research on this subject and list some tips. It is also definitely worthwhile discussing this together because, in doing so, you can help guide your child in their use of digital media from the get-go.
Positive effects of digital media use
Due to the rapidly growing range, and frequent use, of digital media among adults and children, there has been a great deal of research carried out about the topic. There are studies on numbers: how often and for how long do children look at a screen? But in recent years, there have been more and more studies on the consequences screen time has on the development of children. Something that many parents/guardians are curious about.
There are some studies that have shown that a lot of screen time has a negative effect on development, while other studies have not found any significant effect. What’s more, other studies have shown that young children can learn logical reasoning and cognitive skills from videos. Research has also shown that the use of a touchscreen by young children is connected to fine motor development, such as a child’s ability to stack blocks or hold a pencil
2,5 hours screen time per day
Young children (0-6 years of age) look at a screen for an average of 1 hour and 45 minutes a day. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, this has increased to an average of 2.5 hours a day. Due to the unusual circumstances and being at home more this year, parents/guardians have become less strict.
In the Netherlands, 80% of all parents/guardians wonder how much screen time is healthy for their child. Perhaps you do too. And just as many parents/guardians wonder what they can provide their child as an alternative to media use. At the same time, 84% are also happy that they can sometimes fall back on a screen to keep their child occupied. On the one hand, media use brings serenity to family life, but on the other hand, most parents/guardians would prefer their child do other things than stare at a screen. Many parents/guardians struggle with a good balance.
Healthy screen time
It is difficult to determine exactly what is considered healthy with regards to maximum time on a screen. One specialist says a maximum of 10 minutes, while another says a maximum of an hour. There is no official advice on this matter available yet. After all, families and children also differ. It is therefore important that you, as a parent/guardian, assess what is good for your child. A guideline here can be to pay attention to when your child is no longer concentrating on the screen; that is a good indicator that it is time for another activity.
This is how you find a good balance
It’s quite normal to find it difficult determining what is healthy media use for your child. You are not alone and in this modern society there are screens everywhere, which does not make it easier to find a good balance. Remember: if you want your child to cut down on their screen time and media use, it doesn’t have to be done in one fell swoop. Try it step by step. And perhaps the following tips will help you further:
At CompaNanny, children do not use tablets, but we do pay attention to different activities that match the needs of each child.