Published on July 9th, 2019
Do you remember that you said your child would never sit behind a screen? iPads, phone calls, you thought it was nonsense and a sign of bad parenting. Well, what happened to that now that you yourself have children? Comfort you. You are not the only parent who is struggling with how you approach growing up with screens responsibly as possible.
When I was little, I had TV-free days. Yes, really! Days on which I was not allowed to watch TV. Every week I made a schedule with the programs that I wanted to watch. I placed it next to that of my brothers and sister.
We were supposed to have two TV-free days during the week. Together we had to get out. Did it not work out? Then it wasn’t TV all week. The computer was something we didn’t have immediately and the telephone? Yes, but it didn’t have a screen.
1. Growing Up With Screens
What a contrast with today’s youth. On average, children between the ages of zero and six years watch more than two hours a day at a screen. That can be either telephone, tablet, laptop or TV.
A large part of the parents has no idea what their offspring are looking at. Despite warnings about not letting your child watch YouTube alone, a large proportion of toddlers and pre-schoolers seem to watch this without parental supervision
2. The Most Popular Screens
In terms of the most popular screen, the TV is the undisputed winner (82%), closely followed by the tablet (64%). But the smartphone is also regularly stolen. 37% of toddlers regularly use a smartphone to watch videos or play a game. Fortunately, the number of screens in the bedroom is not too bad.
But 13% of children up to and including six years old still have a television in their room. For toddlers and preschoolers of low-educated parents, the chance is 1 in 4 that they have a TV in their room.
Almost two-thirds of parents have difficulty setting up filters or tools that monitor their children’s viewing behavior.
These can be filters that prevent children from being confronted with sexually motivated content because they block it.
But it can also be a time slot that prevents you from sitting behind a screen for too long. Parenting expert Krista Okma advises parents to set filters and parental controls for their young children.
“Certainly now that we know that many parents let their toddlers and pre-schoolers watch YouTube videos on their own. You use filters to prevent your child from seeing the wrong videos while you are cooking. ”
3. Parents’ Most Important Questions About Media Use
Many parents are left with questions. If you look at the top 3 most important questions, it looks like this:
- How can I guarantee my child’s online safety (51%)?
- How do I control the use of screen media (48%)?
- And the content that my young children view is that good content
To make parents more aware of responsible screen use, here we present you 5 tips.
Smartly Growing Up With Screens, 5 Tips:
- Fun: Screens are not only negative; these can also be used to have contact with a family who live far away. Enjoy watching a movie together or playing an (online) game.
- Safe: Safety above all. Make good agreements about inappropriate images early on. Teach your child to call you when they see something crazy or bad.
- Together: By regularly watching your child and talking about it, you know how your child experiences media images. It will also be more normal for your child to discuss this with you. This ensures more pleasure and safety.
- Content: Internet is full of reviews and advice from experts and other parents. It can provide tips for finding suitable apps, videos, and other media. But keep an eye on whether their tips also match your findings. Have you found the media that matches the interest and development level of your child? Then regularly offer the same booklet, video or game. Young children constantly learn new things from this.
- Balance: It is important for young children to discover how things feel, smell and moves. They can only learn this in ‘real life’ and not through a screen. For that reason, it is important that new media is not the only activity for your child. Contact with others, playing outside, building and crafting are good for the development of every child.
4. Limit kids’ screen time to keep it good for them!
Limiting screen time of kids is one good way of helping them make the right use of the devices. To limit kids’ screen time efficiently, experts recommend parents to use digital apps like FamilyTime that help parents regulate their kids’ screen time.
The app offers many features for screen time management such as screen lock schedulers, auto screen lock options, a device controlling features like app blocker, time bank, a fun time and many more.
Do you wish to see how do all these features work, give the app a try for free? You can get the trial version of the app from the app store on your phone.