What Everyone Who Cares for Kids Should Know.
Sure, tablets and smartphones are easy ways to keep kids occupied. But, have you considered what this convenience for you could be doing to them? The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization recommend that children under the age of 2 have zero screen time. None. Nada. Zilch. Watch this video to get a quick lesson on why: Your Child’s Brain on Screens and Video Games – YouTube
Exposure to negative content or conversations can cause a child to have a negative outlook on their world and might even trigger a type of digital PTSD that causes anxiety, depression, mood disorders, and sleep problems. Rating systems were designed to help protect kids from harmful material and should be followed by parents and caregivers. With the internet, though, anyone is one click away from consuming something that they may never be able to forget. That’s one reason it’s so critical to co-view with kids. They need you to be there to help ensure they don’t go down a dangerous path and to talk them through it if they accidentally do.
Also, it’s important to remember that the time you spend staring at screens affects them too. Something referred to as “technoference” can decrease your child’s sense of self-worth (how they feel about themselves) and their empathy (how they feel about others). When your eyes are online instead of on them, they notice and will either act to get your attention or decide that they (or you) aren’t all that important. To help your child grow into a mentally healthy adult it’s best to put down your phone and play with your child. They need to know that they matter. If you must spend time online, wait until after you’ve tucked them in and read them a book. After they’re asleep, you’re free to scroll away with only your own brain to worry about.