The use of the internet and various devices is vastly present among the younger generations. Unfortunately, thinking about having no screen time often causes anxiety among children. Students today are exposed to screen time at a very young age. Learn why you should limit or avoid it altogether.
According to the latest report from Pew Research Center, more than 60% of parents of children under 12 say their child started using a smartphone before the age of five. Additionally, nearly one in five parents say their child (younger than 12) has a smartphone device.
The reason for giving a child their own smartphone is simple – to simplify the communication. However, constant staring at a screen is dangerous. Here’s why you should consider implementing the “no screen time” for your kid and why we practice it at Seashore Academy.
Why Should Kids Avoid Screen Time?
Excessive smartphone use is directly related to various physical and mental health issues among adolescents and young adults. As this report shows, the mental health issues include:
- difficulties in cognitive-emotion regulation
- impaired cognitive function
- addiction to social networking
When it comes to physical health, the excessive use of smartphones may involve:
- Sleep issues
- Reduced physical fitness
- Unhealthy eating habits/eating disorders
- Changes in the brain’s gray matter volume
Letting your children use smartphones for more than a few hours per day can leave devastating effects on your child’s development. So much so that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than two hours of smartphone daily and absolutely no screen time for children under 2 years of age.
Furthermore, the constant use of social media among children aged 14 and up may cause additional issues and reduce your child’s online safety and privacy. Additionally, social media can expose them to cyberbullying, cause decreased life satisfaction, and sometimes even lead to suicide.
This is why it’s crucial that you practice having no screen time activities at home and challenge your child to do the same while they’re at school.
Is Limiting Screen Time Good for Kids?
Based on the data above, limiting screen time has a positive impact on children. This is why Seashore students aren’t allowed to use any sort of device on campus.
Besides practicing handwriting which improves the child’s cognitive skills, prohibiting Chromebooks, smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches helps our students remain focused and involved in the world around them.
No screen time during the week improves their cognitive abilities, but there’s more to it than just being better at listening to a lesson.
What Are the Benefits of Limiting Screen Time?
There are many benefits of reducing screen time for your child, especially for longer periods.
Children Develop New Skills
The first benefit you’ll notice when your child reduces the use of screen time is the ability to develop new skills. When children are hooked on a mobile device, they lose the option of playing imaginary games or building communication skills. However, without screens, they can focus on other things and improve brain function.
They Learn How to Process the World
Remember, children are like a sponge – what they see, they learn. This is why they must be present and soak in their environment as it teaches them how to process ideas, emotions, and other people’s behavior. They can only do this if they’re away from screens.
Learning New Things Is Not Limited
What’s more, as soon as your child reaches school age, you’ll notice their immense ability to learn new things. However, a smartphone device may hinder their cognitive processes and reduce the need for socialization in real life. Removing screens helps them focus on the lesson at hand and helps proper development.
No Screen = More Time for Hobbies
Additionally, limiting screen time for school-aged kids helps them develop new hobbies and interests. Implementing no more screen time and shifting the focus to spending time with friends and family, being physically active, and getting into sports also benefits physical health. Therefore, the risk for other comorbidities should become virtually non-existent.
Reduced Exposure to Negative Content
Furthermore, children with limited screen time have less exposure to online violence and negative messaging resulting in better self-esteem and improved mood.
Removing Screens Means Better Sleep
Plus, having no screen time before bed means reducing the amount of blue light the screens emit, which improves sleep. In return, better sleep improves school performance, reduces aggression, and has overall positive effects on your child.
How to Implement No Screen Time at Home?
While Seashore Academy doesn’t allow the use of devices on campus, you’ll likely want to let your child use them when they’re home. After all, the total absence of devices hits another extreme, and your child might feel punished if they don’t have access to the internet.
Feel free to let them connect with their friends and explore the online world, just remain vigilant. You can always install some parental monitoring software to add another layer of safety while your kid is online.
On the other hand, if you notice your child is doing great without their phone, you might wish to continue practicing no screen time out sessions at home. Discuss the options as a family and listen to your child.
What About Homeschooling?
If you decide to homeschool your child, you might face some challenges when it comes to device usage. Smartphones are commonly used to log in to online lessons. What’s more, students can learn via mobile apps, and go through the curriculum at their own pace.
Still, smartphones may sometimes become a distraction, especially during boring classes. This is why you’ll want to think about some no screen time home learning activities at home. Focus on pen and paper or make up a math game that will get your child off the screen.
This approach will improve engagement, spark creativity, and keep the screens aside, at least for a few hours.
Constant exposure to screens has devastating effects on your child’s mental health, brain development, and physical fitness. Additionally, the use of smartphones during school time can interfere with your kid’s ability to learn and cause poor school performance.
This is why Seashore Academy insists on no screen time on campus and focuses on a collaborative learning environment. This matches our mission of developing engaged, creative, and curious students with strong moral character. To learn more about us, visit this page.