I love making to-do lists. Mostly because if I don’t write it down, it usually doesn’t happen. My sister joked recently that her boys call her notebook her “brain.” Maybe it’s hereditary. And since I relish writing things down, I really enjoy a good list of New Year’s Resolutions.
Here’s one of mine for 2017:
Limit screen time for myself and the girls (for real this time)
I’m constantly trying to figure out ways to limit screen time but it always seems to end up back where we started… waaay too much screen time. And, since it seems like all my oldest daughter’s friends have the latest iPhone and all of them participate on all the social media platforms they possibly can, limiting her screen time has gotten harder and harder. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) estimates that our kids “are spending an average of seven hours a day on entertainment media, including televisions, computers, phones and other electronic devices.” Yikes!
There are plenty of studies showing a link between too much screen time or poor quality screen time and:
- Irregular sleep schedules and shorter duration of sleep
- Behavioral problems
- Loss of social skills
- Less time for play
And while researching an article I’m writing for Earth911, I learned a lot of disturbing information about those volatile rechargeable lithium ion batteries that are inside those devices that provide all that screen time…
According to Dr. Yolanda Reid Chassiakos, lead author of the “Children and Adolescents and Digital Media Technical Report” and assistant professor at UCLA, an average day includes “school, homework time, at least one hour of physical activity, social contact and sleep — which is anywhere from eight to 12 hours for kids. Whatever’s left over can be screen time.” Source: CNN.com
Instead of taking away screen time, I’m going to try to make ways to encourage non-screen time activities. For example, instead of interacting with a screen, we are going to find more outside activities to do as a family.
Make more trips to our local library… we have one so close, we can walk to it which is an added bonus.
To find out more about Media and Young Minds, visit http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/138/5/e20162591. You can also make a Family Media Use Plan with this helpful tool at www.healthychildren.org/MediaUsePlan.