We aren’t anti-screen time over here. But we do strive to create balance and healthy screen time habits in our family. The research on the negative impacts of screen time tends to center around overuse, and when screen time replaces educational, emotionally enriching activities. But you’re an Earlybird parent, every screen-free thing you do from this little app can help squash any screen time guilt you have. You have invested in your child, so it’s okay if you thoughtfully use TV as a tool.
Here are some tips for healthy screen time and picking educational TV shows:
- Set limits: It is important to set limits on screen time and to ensure that children are engaging in a variety of activities, such as playing, reading, and being physically active. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children ages 2 to 5 have no more than 1 hour of screen time per day.
- Consider a routine: Pick times when you do watch shows and when you don’t. Try not to have the TV running in the background all day. For us, we watch a few shows in the morning, and a few after dinner to help with our daily routines. This means my kids know when the TV will be on, and when it will be turned off (AKA no screen time meltdowns because they know the clear expectations).
- Choose educational content: When selecting TV shows and other screen content for your child, look for educational programs that are age-appropriate and that teach valuable skills and concepts. Avoid programs that are violent or that promote unhealthy behaviors.
- Watch together: It can be beneficial to watch TV shows and other screen content with your child, as this can provide an opportunity for interaction and discussion. You can ask your child questions about the content and talk about the themes and ideas presented.
- Encourage active screen time: There are many educational shows that can encourage active screen time. Pick something like Cosmic Yoga which involves physical movement or shows that ask your kids to follow along. You can also bring out toys and have your child play and act along to the shows as they watch.
Check out the activities on the Earlybird app for some easy, screen-free activities you can do with your kid every day so that you can let go of any of the screen time guilt you may have!