How to develop healthy screen time habits in kids

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Healthy Lifestyles and Wellness Living | Mental and Physical Health | Good Habits | Reduced recreational screen time

Kids and Students Education

 

Photo by Alexander Dummer on Unsplash

 

How to develop healthy screen time habits in kids

 

Ways parents and schools can manage the development of healthy screen habits in children

Parents, caregivers and school teachers must adopt healthier ways of controlling the children’s use of the TV and computer screen time so they need not impact their sleep schedule.

In what ways should parents manage their children’s screen time in order to avoid associated mental. social and physical health problems? How can a parent, in the conception of ‘Children’s Mental Health for Healthy Lifestyles and Wellness Living’, develop healthy screen habits for their kids in order to help them maintain sound health? Parents can assist in the development of healthy screen time habits in kids in a good number of ways. Here are a good number of ways they can accomplish the task:

1. Parents, caregivers, and school teachers should spend time with them during screen time

One could be spending time with them occasionally when they are viewing the screen. While the rules and regulations don’t necessarily say parents should be there for every minute of screen time, parents and caregivers should be aware of what their kids are doing and talk to them about it.

School teachers can also assist to understand their students’ at-home negative lifestyles with a view of correcting them. So, the responsibility to help children learn healthy habits – screen time use, healthy eating, physical activity, and sleep not only falls on the parents but the schools, school boards, teachers, and even the communities where the children live.

2. Turn off screens one hour before bedtime

Parents must turn off their children’s electronic and computer devices and/or mandate their kids to turn them off at least an hour before bedtime. Such would ensure that their sleep time is not affected as turning the screens off late before bedtime can deprive them of good sleep.

3. Limit screen time itself

The biggest way to avoid those effects is limiting screen time itself. Parents and caregivers must limit screen time to less than two hours approximately per day for children under the age of 5 as recommended by the American Academy of Paediatrics, AAP

They can also use Apple’s Night Shift or similar apps to turn down the blue light of screens after sunset.

 

4. Getting the children the routine moving from time to time

The parents and caregivers and even the school, whenever necessary, should get the children moving in outdoor activities as much as possible as a routine in order to limit their sitting time. Taking time to do physical exercise is a way of realizing the objective and it should be part of a child’s lifestyle.

This is going to be good not just for your children’s health, but also for your cognitive function and ability

5. Make more appealing alternatives to screens

Parents, caregivers and teachers can reduce the children’s screen time by making screen time alternatives more appealing and enjoyable. Such could be visiting friends and relatives; going sightseeing, taking them out to good places in the city; having an enjoyable playtime with interactive board or card games, getting children involved in outdoor physical exercises, and workout in an airy area where there is no screen, among others.

6. Helping the children develop good habits

So parents should keep the whole day in mind when helping their child develop good habits, such as, healthy eating and eating rightly, getting enough sleep and sleeping well, staying physically active, and developing good and healthy habits and attitudes.

7. Avoid using phones and other devices when with children

Tracie Barnett, an epidemiologist affiliated with the University of Montreal and McGill University wrote in an AHA report that tied obesity to children’s physically inactive behaviour recommended a preventive strategy that parents and teachers should not use their phones or other devices while they are with their children because it would implicitly give them the message that phones and computer devices can replace our interaction with each other.

8. Develop ‘quality’ screen time with children

It is healthy if parents, caregivers, and teachers can develop ‘quality screen time with children during an interaction with them during an educative or informative program that would probably result in content teaching and discussion for learning to take place.

 

Other Eduonwheels’ related posts on Kids’ Mental, Physical and Social Health Education for Healthy Lifestyles and Wellness Living you might find interesting:

7 COVID-19 mental health impacts on school children

3 effects of increased recreational screen time on kids

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The 4 ‘’superior global mental ability’’ that makes your kids outstanding

5 ways kids can perform well on mental & academic tests

 

Why parents must adopt healthier ways of managing their children’s exposure to the screen time

A young girl child having an enjoyable screen time using a tablet
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A young girl child having an enjoyable screen time using a tablet. Photo credit: Moms.com

 

Why should parents adopt healthier ways of managing their children’s exposure to screen time? Doing so attracts certain health benefits in the kids’ lifestyle and wellness living

Health Benefits and good habits of reduced screen time

Children perform well and better on mental and academic tests

Children perform well and better on mental and academic tests through reduced exposure to screen time on phones, computers, laptops, or tablets.

If you want to maximize your child’s brainpower and enhance their mental ability, help them develop good habits, suggests a new study.

Kids in this study who met the screen time and sleep recommendations performed better on a standardized writing test taken one year later.

Math, Reading, and Writing skills all improved with each additional good lifestyle and behaviour that children had.

Development of good habits

Other healthy and good habits are healthy eating and eating rightly, getting enough sleep and sleeping well, staying physically active, and developing good and healthy habits and attitudes.

 

Sound mental and physical health – wellness and developmental milestones remedy in childhood stages of life

In children, sound mental and physical health is a remedy for achieving developmental milestones throughout their childhood stages. It tends to assist the children to perform well academically (cognitively), have emotional wellbeing and have good social skills.

“For kids, if they have a better cognitive function, they may succeed better in their life’’, according to Jean-Philippe Chaput, Ph.D., of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute as reported on Healthline

To achieve high cognitive function, parents must encourage their kids to reduce their recreational screen time to no more than two hours a day, get enough sleep, and stay physically active. Even The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that parents limit screen time to less than two hours for children age 5 or under and none for toddlers and infants less than 18 months of age. Between 18 and 24 months of age, screen time should be limited to watching educational programming with a caregiver, according to the American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, AACDP

This improved cognitive function includes good memorization of study items, paying proper attention, high mental processing speed, and language use proficiency.

 

How increased screen time negatively affects the mental and physical health and wellness of children and students

Increase recreational screen time is a poor health habit

According to Moms.com, a study found that children between the ages of 5 and 16 years old are spending an average of 9 hours every single day on the screen.

Increased recreational screen time is a poor health habit and increased screen time children and students spend on watching TV content and other movies and videos, browsing the internet, spending time on social media, and playing video games could result in negative mental and physical health and wellness problems. Such mental and physical illness includes chronic back and neck pains, anxiety and depression, obesity, and even sleeps problems.

Students who spend more time on screen can end up having poor test scores. Children’s screen time should not be more than 2 hours per day on the average

Increase recreational screen time can cause obesity, sleeplessness, dietary issues, physical inactivity, poor cognitive function, and mental health, poor social skills among others 

Moreover, mental ill-health has led to increased recreational screen time, strained family relations or sedentary and physical inactivity at home, and other redundant lifestyles during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and pose additional challenges. Parents must find ways to take care of their children’s mental health behavioural changes.

Screen time is making kids more sedentary, and that sedentary behaviour is tied to a child’s weight and obesity, the American Heart Association (AHA) warned in new recommendations.

The strongest link to the effects of increased screen time is sleeplessness. Increased screen time affects the sleeping time of children and makes them have poor social skills. The blue light emitted by screens, particularly, can throw off the body’s biological clock and disrupt sleep.

Researchers also point to a study that found children who spent more than 35 hours per week of screen time faced a greater risk of heart disease and stroke compared to those who spent less than 16 hours per week.

That increase in screen time carries numerous risks, the AHA says, including decreased sleep quality and social skills as well as increased risk of health issues associated with sitting for long periods of time, such as obesity.

The AHA report also concludes that obesity risk from screen time often persists, despite increasing physical activity or adjusting diets.

 

This blog content on ‘Healthy Lifestyles and Wellness Living: How to develop healthy screen time habits in kids ’ is categorized under Children and Students’ Mental and Physical Health Education.

Our Children and Students’ Mental and Physical Health Education System is about creating and delivering impacting, and empowering problem-solving information towards enhancing the good and sustainable mental and physical health and ability in the children to our amiable readers for a dependable future – Eduonwheels.

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