When small children are being pushed in a stroller, riding in a car or train and fully immersed in the screen in their hand, they are missing out on key moments to engage with their environment. Granted, there are times when this is perfectly ok, but to be the norm, would impede key moments to engage with the outside world

Studies have shown that children under 2 learn less from a video than when learning from another person. So, although there may be tv shows aimed at this age group they are more likely to engage with flashing colors and sounds coming from the screen, than the actual information being presented. They will still be engaged, but will not be processing or learning from the content they are engaging with.

Screen time usage can be challenging to employ.  But if you follow the rules of thumb set out below it will be easier

Moderation.” explains how to prepare your child for moderate time on their screens in two minutes or less
BEFORE your child begins their activity, set the parameter to be consistent in letting them know the amount of time they will be on their device
● Define what “moderation” looks like within your family
● Set a screen time schedule
● Make the schedule visible for your children and discuss it with them
● Take a break in between sessions to reset their brain

● Set a timer to keep yourself and your children accountable
● Make the timer visible
● Discuss screen time options with your children; give them power and ownership to use their voice and make decisions

● Praise your children
● Show signs of affection
● Listen to them
● This returns power back to your children, let them be seen and heard as they desire.
● This reinforces trust and opens the doors for a solid relationship and communication that will last a lifetime

● Have a plan in place once screen time is complete ● Build a “Bored Buster” list together
● Have an activity planned once the screen time activity is complete
● Listen to your children
● Frame your thoughts positively
● Include them in the decision making
● Print screen time certificates as additional positive reinforcement

● Use humorous books to instill a love for reading
● Read consistently with your child daily
● Reading humorous books have many mental and physical benefits