How Much TV/Video Games Is Too Much?
We’ve probably all heard TV and video games turn kids brains to mush. The average child watches more than triple the amount of entertainment screen time than what is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. One to two hours of entertainment screen time is enough for children and it should be completely avoided for children under two years old. Interacting with people is the best way to learn.
Too much screen time (usually for entertainment purposes compared to educational) can cause harm to kids including higher risk of obesity, difficulty sleeping, behavioral problems, impaired academic performance, violence, and less time for active play. Although screen time can be educational, it needs to be in moderation, just like everything else. Having a wide variety of free time activities including being active will contribute to a healthy body and mind.
Face-to Face social interaction is very important in a child’s life. No matter what type of screen time you engage in, you are limiting your face to face interaction. The need for this has been around since the world began and is what our social skills may depend on.
Even though many programs claim to be educational for very young children, they do not improve their development. So no matter what you hear, children under 2 thrive with no screen time.
Being a good example for your children by limiting your own entertainment screen time will help them to realize the importance of staying within the healthy limits to avoid potential damage for years to come. It’s easier to start off when they are young to form good habits of following recommendations.