Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Friday, July 19, 2019 09:37:46 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

How much screen time should kids be allowed each day?

photo by

By
18th-Oct-2018       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Randy Kulman Ph.D :
One of the most common complaints I hear from parents in my practice is that their kids spend too much time staring at screens. While this certainly may be the case, most of these parents could stand to take a good, long look in the mirror.  In 2016, adults were spending an average of 9.5 hours with screen-based media per day, of which almost 8 hours was not related to work activities. Compare that to the most recent studies from Common Sense Media, which indicate that pre-teens are spending only 6 hours per day in front of a screen, and teens only 9 hours (though these figures do not include school work-related screen time). While most parents, pediatricians, and psychologists agree that this is absolutely too much, it's important to keep in mind that we're all having a hard time managing our screen time, and there is little consensus on how much screen time kids should be allowed each day.
Some of the entertainment screen time of tweens and teens is spent listening to music and reading (about 80 minutes for tweens, and 140 minutes for teens). The biggest amount of time is spent watching TV, DVDs, and videos (about 2.5 hours for both groups). Both groups spend a little less than 1.5 hours playing video games, while teens spend almost the same amount of time on social media. While listening to music, reading, and even some social media are generally considered healthy activities for kids, they also spend many hours a day entertaining themselves in front of screens. While much of children's' screen time is healthy and productive (even limited amounts of social media, which can serve to keep kids socially connected and improve their self-awareness skills) this amount of entertainment-based screen time raises very legitimate concerns. From this perspective, it appears that the content of screen time, and the degree to which screen time substitutes for other healthy activities, may be the biggest concern when evaluating how much screen time kids should be allowed each day.
One study that examined only video-game play is particularly instructive. Andrew Przybylski, a psychologist based at the University of Oxford in England, found that playing three or more hours of video games a day led to increased levels of psychological maladjustment and lower levels of prosocial behavior and life satisfaction compared to playing for one hour a day. Interestingly, the same findings were observed in children who did not play any video games at all.
In fact, while the kids who played between one and three hours a day demonstrated no discernable benefits or harm from their gameplay, the kids who played video games for just about an hour per day were actually healthier and happier than those who never played or those who played for more than three hours.
Przybylski hypothesizes that the healthiest children are the ones who benefit from having the social opportunities and cognitive challenges of video-game play, while also having time for other activities.
These kids are "playing," a key component for learning and social-emotional growth and also likely have time for other types of play.  Yes, an hour per day of play is screen-based, but it's what many psychologists refer to as digital play. And, in the 21st century, digital play is a core activity for children and can help kids build their working memory, planning skills, and other executive functions.
 (To be continued)
But if all children choose to do is engage in digital play, they will neglect other forms of play and miss out on many of the benefits of social, physical, creative, and unstructured play.
Back to our question: how much screen time should kids be allowed each day? Well, you now have a partial answer: one hour of playing video games every day is just about right. Of course, this does not take into account time spent with television, videos, social media, movies, or browsing the Internet... but who said the answer was going to be easy?
Keeping in mind our one hour per day video game rule, we can start to answer the complete screen-time question with a simple premise: most aspects of human behavior are healthiest when they are balanced and in proportion with each other. For example, neglecting one's physical health by never exercising is certainly unhealthy, but so is exercising so much that your body breaks down and you constantly injure yourself.  The same is certainly true for screen time: it has to be balanced with "no screen" time. Achieving this balance requires what I call having a healthy "Play Diet," which includes social, physical, creative, unstructured, and digital play (and is just as important for adults as it is for kids, by the way).  Clearly, there are many benefits of digital play for children, yet excessive amounts are problematic in terms of physical, social, and emotional health issues. At the same time, in today's world, overly restricting screen time may keep children out of communication loops, restrict their learning and academic development, and keep them from activities they might find to be enriching or creatively stimulating.
Still, we need an answer to our question: how much screen time should kids be allowed each day? Keeping in mind the idea of maintaining a healthy play diet, I offer these guidelines as an answer:
Start with an hour a day of entertainment-based screen time, and, most importantly, embrace it as the healthy part of your child's play diet that it is! Remember, though, this hour does not include time spent on a screen listening to music, reading, or doing productive, creative, and school-based activities.
Always consider the age of your child and the content of the screen-based media. Even an hour a day can be harmful if your child is spending it on age-inappropriate content.   
Nurture your child's other non-screen-based interests. The more time your child spends doing things like playing sports, going to dance classes, and playing outside, the less time they will even want to spend with screens.
Don't worry too much if your child's screen time drifts more towards two or even three hours per day. We all need breaks from our routines, and if screen time is a form of relaxation for your child, just be sure they are aware of their screen time and that they aren't getting that much screen time every day. When you see these longer screen time days happening a lot, just work harder to ensure that your child is also engaged in other activities.
Pay attention if screen time is frequently more than three hours per day and address this promptly and seriously. Make sure that your child understands that watching a few more shows once in a while may be fine, but spending all day glued to their screen is not.
Trust your family sensibility around these issues. If you all spend a lot of time with screens, allow your child to spend a bit more too; if your family spends most of your free time outdoors or doing other non-screen-based-activities, allow a little less screen time.
Look at how your child is doing in the rest of his life. If your child is generally doing well academically, socially, and emotionally, then there probably isn't a need for drastically restricting their screen time.
Remember that play-and in the 21s century, this includes digital play-is crucial to children's cognitive, social, and emotional development. Just because your child's play looks different than yours did, that doesn't mean that it's any less normal, healthy, or important.
Put down your own devices! Kids learn far more by example than by proclamation, and if there's one thing that all kids hate (especially teenagers), it's being told to, "Do as I say, not as I do."
Put more focus on encouraging non-screen-based activities than on restricting screen time. In the 21st century digital world, it takes a concentrated effort to make other activities more attractive than screen time, so you can't just tell your child to get off of their devices and then expect them to automatically find something else that they like just as much.
However, if you really take the time to share all of the "real world" activities and interests that you loved as a kid (or that you love now) with your own child, chances are that they will wind up enjoying a few of them as well.

(Randy Kulman, Ph.D., is a child clinical psychologist, parent of 5, and founder of LearningWorks for Kids. He is the author of Train Your Brain for Success and Playing Smarter in a Digital World).

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

China funded projects: Delay would create problems


A JOINT working group has been formed to probe the slow progress of the 27 projects involving around $20 billion that China had agreed to provide during President Xi Jinping's Dhaka visit in October 2016. China has so far disbursed only $981.36 million -- less than 5 percent of the ...

Football »

Infantino reacts to Blatter criticism over Africa cleanup


AP, Cairo :FIFA president Gianni Infantino hit back at Sepp Blatter's criticism of the world soccer body's cleanup operation in Africa as a modern-day form of "colonialism."Infantino response on Thursday was: "I have to laugh about it."Blatter, the former head of FIFA who is serving a six-year ban from soccer, ...

City »

A vital portion of highway in Uttara near Armed Police Office is in dilapidated condition where big potholes and cracks following incessant rains for the last few days and works relating to metro-rail project, other development works. This photo was taken on Thursday.


International »

US against any country purchasing Russia's S-400 defence system: Pentagon


PTI, Washington :The US is keen to make its defence partnership with India stronger, the Pentagon has said, but made it clear that it is against any country purchasing military equipment, including the S-400 missile defence system from Russia, that is designed to counter America's sophisticated fifth-generation aircraft.The remarks by ...

International »

Sea-Watch captain Rackete faces Italian prosecutor over migrant rescue


AFP, Agrigento :German captain Carola Rackete, who sparked international headlines by forcibly docking in an Italian port with rescued migrants, faces questioning by an Italian prosecutor on Thursday over allegedly aiding illegal immigration.The captain of the Sea-Watch 3 is expected to be questioned in the southern Sicilian town of Agrigento ...

Entertainment »

Poppy supports Bobita’s remark


Entertainment Report :Nick name of internationally acclaimed film actress Bobita is Poppy. Due to acting in the big screen Bobita had to sacrifice her name Poppy. On the other hand, after starting acting in movies Poppy could keep her original name. Poppy sometimes feels pleasure when she recalls the original ...

Editorial »

Ensure hassle-free higher education for them


THE results of this year's Higher Secondary Certificate and equivalent examinations under country's 10 education boards were announced yesterday where the combined pass rate rose by 7. 29 percent - that means it's now 73.93 per cent from last year's 66.64 per cent. The number of GPA-5 achievers in the ...

City »

Students of the city`s Motijheel Ideal School and College exulting over the brilliant results of the HSC examination. The snap was taken from the premises of the institution on Wednesday.


.

International »

China gifts military warship to Sri Lanka in sign of deepening cooperation


PTI, Beijing : China has gifted a warship to Sri Lanka, in the latest sign of its deepening military cooperation with the strategically located island nation in the Indian Ocean. Also, China's rolling-stock manufacturer has announced that it would shortly deliver nine "new type" of diesel trains to Sri Lanka.The China-gifted ...

Entertainment »

Peya Bipasha`s Eid telefilm Opekkha


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Gleaming model and actress Peya Bipasha has recently acted in an Eid telefilm titled Opekkha under the direction of Maksudur Rahman Bishal. This was Peya’s first work for the upcoming Eid. In the telefilm, Peya Bipasha will be seen against Emon on the screen. Promising TV actress ...

Editorial »

Accidents at level crossings


A newly-married couple and eight others of the bridal party were killed when a Dhaka-bound train rammed their microbus at an unmanned level crossing in Sirajganj's Ullapara upazila on Monday evening. The fatal accident has spoiled unmet dream of the couple. It's due to utter negligence of the Railway Authorities ...

Football »

Argentine sport court member advices Messi to apologize


AP, Buenos Aires :Lionel Messi should apologize for his harsh comments at the Copa America in order to avoid a sanction, an Argentine member of sport's highest court said on Monday.Following defeats in the last two finals, Messi had another frustrating end to the tournament when he was sent off ...

International »

Government restrictions on religion increasing worldwide


AP, New York  :Government restrictions on religion have increased markedly in many places around the world, not only in authoritarian countries, but also in many of Europe's democracies, according to a report surveying 198 countries that was released Monday.The report released by the Pew Research Center, covering developments through 2017, ...

International »

Erdogan hails S-400 deal as Turkey marks 2016 coup bid


AFP, Istanbul :President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday hailed the controversial delivery of a Russian missile defence system despite the threat of US sanctions, as Turkey marked the third anniversary of a bloody coup attempt.Just days before the anniversary, the first batch of the Russian S-400 defence system was delivered ...

Business & Economy »

HMD Global launches two Nokia Smart Phones


Economic Reporter :HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, launched Nokia 3.2 and Nokia 2.2 in Bangladesh.The Launching ceremony was held at a city hotel on Tuesday.  Farhan Rashid, Head of Business of HMD Global Bangladesh, Raquibul Kabir, Managing Director of Union Group, Syed MostahidalHoq, Managing Director of Daraz Bangladesh ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news