Spending a lot of time online comes with its own cons, and as the ongoing pandemic has forced students –old and young- to embrace e-learning, parents and teachers have growing concerns about the dangers of prolonged screen time on their kids. Many schools have now replaced physical classes with online and virtual classes in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19. This means that the time kids spend in front of their screens has been multiplied.
And while the pandemic rages on in most parts of the world, it seems like virtual learning is the new norm. Students who have returned back to school did so with a lot of changes to their regular schooling pattern, while others are yet to return physically to school. Educators and parents are at a loss on what to do to reduce their children’s screen time.
Even before the start of the pandemic and the introduction of virtual learning, parents, teachers and guardians already complained about the rising number of hours kids spent in front of screens.
Studies have shown that children are more likely to develop medical conditions, such as diabetes, or even obesity if they spend an hour and above sitting in front of their TV, or other screens. Other things experts have concluded include these:
- Children can suffer from sleep disturbance if they are exposed to the blue light just before their bedtime.
- Children are more prone to develop an addiction to gaming, watching screens, and pending time on their phones, distracting them from focusing on school work.
- Kids might get distracted from studying, and their academics will suffer.
Reduce how much passive screen time your child gets
Filter the online content your child consumes, until you have only the most valuable ones. Passive screen time is not beneficial to your kids in any way, and is common in a lot of the apps available to kids. Videos on YouTube, games, and others should be replaced with interactive and educational content.
Rethink afterschool screen time.
Parental control is available for a reason; use it. Plan your child’s afterschool routine, and while they would be inclined to relax by playing games or watching TV, keep them engaged with an outdoor activity, or an indoor activity that does not require screen time.
Provide your child with educational and learning materials.
Rather than allow your child to spend more time staring at a screen, provide them with learning materials much like the ones available to them in their classrooms as reading comprehension worksheets, for instance. If your child is in elementary school, they most likely have activity centers in class with puzzles, mazes, and other manipulatives.