In today's digital age, it can be difficult for parents and educators to strike a healthy balance between technology use and child development. While screen time can offer numerous benefits, it can also have negative effects on a child's development. Therefore, it is important for parents and educators to approach screen time in a thoughtful and intentional manner, with a focus on achieving a healthy balance between technology use and offline activities.
To help create a healthy balance, the American Academy of Paediatrics recommends guidelines for age-appropriate screen time, such as limiting screen time to one hour per day of high-quality programmes for children aged two to five years, and limiting media or device usage for children aged six years and older. Parents and educators can also use strategies such as setting boundaries, modelling healthy behaviours, choosing high-quality media, and using media as a tool to supplement other activities and enhance learning experiences.
Strategies for creating a healthy balance between technology and offline activities
Establish screen-free zones and times
Designate certain areas at home as screen-free zones, such as the dining area and bedrooms. Create screen-free times, such as during mealtimes or before bedtime, to promote family bonding and a good night's sleep.
Encourage physical activity and outdoor play
Encourage children to engage in physical activity and outdoor play to promote healthy physical and mental development. Encourage them to participate in sports, dance classes or other physical activities that interest them.
Promote educational and interactive screen time
Encourage children to engage in educational and interactive screen time, such as reading apps or educational games. Choose high-quality programming that is age-appropriate and offers educational benefits.
Monitor and limit screen time
Monitor children's screen time and limit it to the recommended guidelines. Use parental controls and set screen time limits on devices to ensure that children don't spend too much time on screens.
Be a role model
Be a positive role model for children by practising healthy screen habits yourself. Avoid excessive screen time and engage in offline activities that promote physical, social and emotional well-being.
In addition to these guidelines, using a learning management system like LittleLives can provide numerous benefits for both parents and educators in early childhood education.
For parents, LittleLives provides real-time updates on their child's progress and development, as well as a secure and convenient way to communicate with their child's educators. LittleLives also provides access to learning resources, including educational materials and activity ideas, which can provide opportunities for parents to engage in learning activities with their child at home.
For educators, LittleLives provides a platform to communicate and collaborate with parents, as well as a way to track student progress and identify areas where additional support is needed. LittleLives also offers tools for creating and sharing lesson plans, managing student portfolios, and assessing student learning outcomes.
While screen time can have both positive and negative effects on a child's development, it is important for parents and educators to approach it in a thoughtful and intentional manner. By following age-appropriate guidelines, using strategies to create a healthy balance between technology use and offline activities, and incorporating a learning management system like LittleLives into their approach, parents and educators can provide children with the tools they need to succeed in today's digital age.