Today’s world is ruled by technology. Whether we like it or not – devices accompany us in everyday activities, and without access to the Internet it is often impossible to do various things. While adults are already used to it and have learned to cope with it, it can have a completely different impact on children. Let’s take a look at what we can do to prevent our kids from spending too much time in front of the computer.
What are the statistics?
Łukasz Wojtasik from Dajemy Dzieciom Siłę Foundation, in an interview with Polish Radio stated that: “More than 40% of children use the Internet before the age of two”.
The Institute of Mother and Child conducted research according to which 55% of eleven-year-olds spend over 2 hours a day watching videos, and over 60% of them spend another 4 hours browsing the Internet, playing video games or doing other activities with the use of a phone/computer. In summary, a large proportion of 5th graders spend more than 6 hours a day in front of a screen.
In 2018. CBOS asked caregivers who have children or grandchildren between the ages of 6 and 19 how much time their children spend in front of a phone/computer screen. The results show that young people between the ages of 6 and 19 spend 18 hours a week using such devices.
What should they look like?
According to the recommendations of the American Association of Pediatricians, the time spent in front of the screen by children should look as follows:
- children under 2 years old – preferably not at all,
- children from 2 to 5 years of age – up to one hour a day,
- children from the age of 6 – if the child has been at school all day and has experienced other stimuli, he or she can use one to two hours for the computer.
In turn, Polish specialists give slightly different statistics:
- children up to 3 years old – should not have any contact with a computer/phone/tablet at all,
- children from 3 to 7 years old – maximum 30 minutes a day,
- children from 7 to 12 years – one hour a day.
What can be done to make the statistics a reality?
Simply banning your child from using the computer or phone can be counterproductive. Instead, offer something in return. It’s important that it’s not tame: “No, you can’t, go play”, but initiating: “Instead of watching a story, we can make up our own.” What follows, we should encourage the child to play together and point him in the direction, e.g.: by stacking blocks, reading him a book, painting a colouring book, invite him to play outside. By initiating play, our toddler will gladly join us.
However, we should set some limits and, above all, control what the child watches. Make them aware that anonymity on the Internet is illusory, tell them about the dangers that can be encountered on the Internet and watch how they behave both during and after digital activities. If a child shows too much aggression after leaving the computer, has problems establishing relationships in the real world and expressing his/her own feelings, you should think about applying restrictions. The allowed daily time on the computer should be predetermined, so that the toddler does not neglect daily movement and contact with peers. You can also implement a reward system, according to which the child will be rewarded for good deeds, e.g. with an extra episode of a favorite cartoon.
It is worthwhile for the time spent in front of the computer to carry some educational value. Popular animations can be played in English. A slightly older child can be interested in a simple strategy set in medieval times. In this way, he will learn not only the basics of management and economics, but also learn something interesting from history and become familiar with a foreign language. There are many interesting productions on the market, which through fun can teach the basics of programming. Thus, the desire to learn can become a desirable entertainment for a toddler.
Read also: https://queenoze.com/house-and-garden/how-do-i-connect-multiple-devices-to-my-computer/
Main photo: Tima Miroshnichenko/pexels.com