Actor Megan Fox recently revealed to ET that she is sending her boys to a screen-free school and that they won’t be exposed to cellphones, tablets or computers until they are older. She says early screen time messes with their brains.
She’s not entirely wrong. There are many studies that show that excessive screen time can alter a child’s brain (CLICK HERE for more) It is recommended that children under the age of 2 have NO screen time; 2-5 year-olds should be limited to an hour a day and 5-11 year-olds should have no more than 2 hours of screen time a day. (source) The less screen time, the better!
So, what are your family rules for screen time?
We used to let our daughter look at photos on our phones when she was a baby. She quickly learned how to scroll through the photos and start videos. We noticed that she reacted very badly when we took the phone away so decided to just cut it out entirely.
Early on, we made it clear to our parents, who watch her during the day, that we preferred zero screen time BUT I made sure not to ‘freak out’ if I found out she had watched a little TV. I just shrugged and moved on.
She’s 3 years old now and we allow her to watch ‘TV’ shows once a week or so. I think it is so limited because we both work during the day so, when we get home, we don’t want to watch TV with her, we want to hang out and play. (Plus, evening exposure to glowing screens can negatively affect sleep.)
When we are desperate for some quiet time to get stuff done on the weekend, for instance, she gets to watch Mr. Dressup or Angelina Ballerina (which, on Netflix, by the way, runs over an hour with 3 consecutive episodes lumped into one!). We had to teach her that when it was time to turn off the show, she was not to throw a fit but rather say ‘Thank you” and move on. It took a while, but she’s got it now (most of the time!)
Do you think limiting screen time is a good thing in the long run or should children learn to use technology as soon as possible?