Screen time and parenting is one of those things that will keep parents thinking as soon as they put their kids in front of TV or cellphones or any other screen. You’d be always asking yourself, is it hurting my kid now that he’s watching this? Am I being a bad parent to put my kid in front of the screen just so that I can work on other necessities?
The answer to that is not simple but very easy to grasp if you read this article. It all comes to if your kid’s cognitive and motor skills are improving and whether screen time has negative (or maybe positive) effect on that. Social skills are also a part of the cognitive skills that play important role in your kid’s success.
So let’s get into more details.
What do experts say?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends keeping babies and toddlers younger than 18 months off screens. Children of 2 years or older can have a maximum one hour of screen time per day.
AAP says that setting time limits isn't enough. According to AAP, it is important for parents to play high-quality shows and games to children and to join their children during screen time and not just using screen time as an electronic babysitter for their children.
So as you can see, it is mostly about enabling the cognitive abilities of our children to grow while having a more human interaction with their surroundings and parents. Once the kids are older than 2 years old, the screen time can start but parents should still be a part of the time spent on the screen and interact with their children while they are watching high quality content.
High quality refers to content that helps children learn colors, sounds, names and other things that they may not see at home. For example, showing them a cow and how it makes a sound is good because they will learn about cows, something that they cannot normally see at home.
Parents’ involvement is the key
A recent study has also found that when the children get older, the screen time should be kept limited. This will assure that children will think more and sit less in front of the screen and only absorb content and will make them more social and gain more social skills that are crucial to their success at personal and professional levels.
As you may noticed above, parents’ involvement in these activities in really important. Just leaving the kids in front of the screen is not going to be helpful. In those short minutes of screen time, parents should be interacting, talking and even explaining what is happening on the screen.
Use large and safe screens
The problem with most of the screens out there is that they are too small for more than one person to use and get engaged with. Also, smaller screens are going to affect how your children may see the videos and will have negative effect on their understanding of the videos. When using a laptop or a phone, you will have to physically restrict your self and your kid in order to watch anything.
So although moving to larger screens is expensive, but beneficial to the development of your children’s brains. Despite this, the larger the screens get, the more emitted light your kids are exposed to. LCD and LED screens work based on creating imaging by emitting light. This is proven to cause eye fatigue and for young children is more likely to affect the development of their eyes and retina.
So when moving to larger screens for better interaction with your kids and having better content shown, and at the same time, avoiding LCD and LED light effects on their eyes and brains, the best solution would be to use a projector.
Projectors are a better choice
The image of the projector can be made very large. Also, because it works based on the light reflected off the screen, and not emitted from an LCD screen, it has no harm on your children’s eyes. Since it is very large, you may join in and enjoy the dance and cartoon videos together so that you kids will also get to move around and not being glued to a tiny screen in front of them. You project on a wall and have your kids watch and dance around in the room.
Portable projectors provide the best involvement and results
When choosing a projector for your kids, make sure it is easy to carry around and can load your videos on it or stream off YouTube or other channels. Make sure it is very easy to set and project anywhere in the house, so you are not restricted to any location. You should be able to use it in the backyard if the weather allows so kids can have more fun and get fresh air too.