Screen time is a hot topic. Just about every magazine, blog, and newspaper has an article about screen time. Usually, you read about the many negative effects of screen time which are a reality that I hold dear, but this article is about the many benefits. Screens are a part of our daily life nowadays; so, I think we need to use them in moderation and emphasize their good.
I used to be an anti-screen time mom. I’m a reading advocate. However, I’ve learned that screen time has many benefits.
Benefits of screen time
Screen time is good when technology is used as a tool
Our children need to learn and utilize screens to engage in the following life skills: e-mail, text messaging, video conferencing, and creating assignments for school. I love to be able to keep in touch with my children through text messages. This is a beautiful way to use technology as a tool.
Screen time leads to writing more
For some children, keyboarding is an easier way to get their thoughts on paper. Having access to screens encourages writing. Additionally, these free writing web sites inspire kids to write.
Screen time helps your child learn discernment
The world wide web is a wide open smorgasbord for our children. We can’t always be with them every second of every day. Therefore, I taught my children how to discern sites and games they could use. (I gave them some freedom to make wise choices.)
We rehearsed these guidelines in advance and role played what to do if they encountered a site that was inappropriate. This was before companies created filters. Nowadays, you can get many filters for any screen. You, the parent, can set up what your child sees or doesn’t see. I like the two following sites to help you decide what is acceptable for your children:
Plugged In This site provides practical advice for TV, movies, games, and books. You can read the objective reviews and decide with your children which movies, books, games, and TV shows you can watch.
Common Sense Media Get answers and ask questions about anything and any age dealing with screens.
Screen time helps families set boundaries
When my children were small, they had one hour of screen time a day. This is what our family decided. We had them set a timer and adhere to the rule. If not, they lost their screen time for the following day. Additionally, we let them earn screen time. For every minute that they read a book, they earned a minute of screen time up to a certain limit. This really inspired them to read, and they earned more screen time.
Setting up boundaries is an important aspect of life. Reading and learning about screen time guidelines is a great place to start when determining your family’s boundaries.
Screen time is educational
There are undeniably many educational websites and apps for kids.
Screen time can lead to responsible children
It teaches our children to do their chores and take care of their responsibilities first. It also comes with a free printable. 🙂 Even though screen time has many benefits, it is up to us parents to be good role models limiting our screen time usage while encouraging our children to read, get out in nature, and be active.
“We tend to block off many of our senses when we’re staring at a screen. Nature time can literally bring us to our senses.” ~ Richard Louv
One way to ensure that your children have screen time in moderation is to log the amount of time they spend on screens and to follow guidelines that your family has established. You can use the Let’s Move screen time log to track how much time everyone is spending in front of a screen.
Screens are a part of our reality; they aren’t going anywhere. So, let’s embrace the benefits and be sure to use screens in moderation for the health of our children and ourselves.
Let’s make a positive difference~ one word at a time. 🙂
Please share this article with others that you think would benefit from these tips. Also, please ask any questions that you may have about teaching children reading or writing. Leave your questions in the comments. I’ll answer.
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Photo source: flickr.com, yourmodernfamily.com