Benefits of Limiting Screen Time for Young Children

The magic of childhood is about imagination, curiosity, creativity and surprise. The first ten years of a child’s life the brain is developing at a rapid pace. Time spent using the imagination and being creative is a critical component of brain development. Problem solving, cause and effect and exploration are each key pieces of this process. In order for these developmental milestones to unfold, children need to be active – not reactive. Time spent passively staring at a screen does not aid in a child’s development. Growing relationships and discovery are nourishing for a child’s emotional and mental well-being. Follow these recommendations from the child care experts to ensure your child is receiving a healthy balance of discovery and creativity measured against screen time.

When children see adults constantly grabbing for their smartphones, tablets or TVs, it’s only natural for them to follow suit. Parents are also quick to use screen time to babysit or ‘calm’ children. This robs them of the ability to learn to entertain themselves on their own. While this may well require more patience from parents, it’s an integral part of parental responsibility. When you allow, yes allow, a young child to entertain themselves you are teaching life-long skills and ensuring positive brain development. Play is learning for young children. It may seem like an accomplishment when a very young child learns the alphabet or basic number recognition. Memorization skills are developed at a very young age, however, this by no means is an indicator of their ability to conceptualize the meaning of letters and numbers. This is an activity that gains reward and praise from parents.

Get back to basics. Check out the awesome deals offered by Groupon and head over to your local ToysRUs for a huge variety of discovery toys. Batteries and LED screens are not required. Building blocks, puzzles and crayons are required. Let their imaginations soar. This is not meant to suggest that TV programing, selective Apps and games are bad. The key for parents with young children in the critical years of brain development is to find that balance between creativity and imagination and screen time.