It’s infuriating when your kids are trying to sneak a look on their phones at the dinner table or in are front of the play-station as soon as your back is turned. It’s easy to feel that screens are taking over at the expense of a bit of outdoor activity – and they have been blamed for some of the growing tide of obesity that is threatening the health of our kids….and many of us, to be fair.
There’s no doubt that keeping active is essential for health – and kids are supposed to get an hour of good physical activity a day.
It’s also so important to stop screens eating into family conversation time – whether around the table, in the car or otherwise. Without those conversations we aren’t helping to build their social skills. Nor keeping open those lines of communication which are vital to picking up any emotional worries they may be having.
And, of course, screens interfere with their body clock, making it more difficult to get to sleep – increasingly recognised as a problem for health.
Finally, screens are also an interaction with the outside world which we are less able to control and can be damaging to our kids – with phone-bullying and the like on the increase.
But, it’s not all bad…
The internet is increasingly used as the gateway for learning in schools and our kids can access a wealth of information that was barely accessible a decade ago. Plus, a recent study from Germany showed that video-gamers can see improvements in brain skills like analysing a situation, generating new knowledge and categorising facts.
So, there’s no doubt that we need some rules around screen time but it seems like it’s not all bad! And there is nothing like leading by example and ensuring we are not as guilty of excess screen use as our children – check out this article to see if screens could be damaging your health!