Ah screen time, how much time should my child spend in front of a TV, a computer, iPhone, iPad or Nintendo DS? Well, the perfect answer would be ‘no time at all’ I guess if you read about how bad it is for our children.
Of course, it would be better for our children to read a good old book, to go running and cycling outside or play a board game with their friends rather than watch TV, play on the computer or ‘socialise’ on Facebook.
But a little bit of TV has never hurt anyone, has it?
Well, if you read articles on the internet, it is very scary and it seems like it will definitely have a negative impact on them, whether it is obesity, social skills, brain development, speech delay etc. etc. Specialist advise for no TV before the age of 3 and only one hour of screen time per day from the age of 3. I guess it is all about a good balance. The best would be if our children did not like TV that much but there are so many programs and films for them. And of course, I like to watch TV myself after a hard day so why wouldn’t they?
These are drawings made by 5-6 year old children. It was taken from the French paper Le Monde. The top line are drawn by children who watched very little TV. The second line by children who spend a lot of time in front of the TV everyday. Scary no?
But what I will definitely NEVER EVER do is have a TV in my children’s bedroom.
And the computers…the world is changing and you can’t just stop your children from using a computer, can you? We need to adapt I guess.
Mellow (4 years old) is starting to be very interested in what I do when I’m in front of the computer. He loves to go on a kids software that has games and coloring (and he knows how to do it himself – turn on the computer, click on the icon and start playing) and he often ask for YouTube for music and little cartoons. When I’m on the computer, he wants to close the windows for me, and he now knows what an emails is, or that we can always search for information on the internet and of course, he likes to watch people on the computer (Skype).
At school, they have an after school computer club. I’m not sure what they do there but it shows our children can’t live their life without a computer. And a colleague with a 11 year-old mentioned that her daughter has to do research for school and the teachers recommend Wikipedia.
I don’t want my children to stay in front of their computers all day when they are teens, play online with their friends, have 100s of friends on social networks but no very good friends. Some have been very successful, like Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg, but most of them are just very lonely.
I would love to know what you think about this.
Me & The Boys