Screen Time and Better Parenting – Is There a Relationship?


Handing in an iPod to your kids at a very young age is not surprising at all, perhaps a way to express modern parenting. Parents often argue against the advice of not letting children use such devices at such a tender age as it, according to them, improves their social behaviour.

The involvement of computers and the internet in studies firmly back your approach to letting your children interact with such devices. To some extent, you can say that it is all but impossible to discourage the use of screens completely.

This is why many parents prepare their children to be familiar with screens. Even if you need more money, you are open to funding it with bad credit cash loans in Ireland.

Well, whether it is good or bad is another story, but the first thing you need to understand is that it can affect the development of your children, according to experts.

What have experts discovered about the impact of screen time on children?

The number of sleeping hours varies because there is a genetic component to your need for sleep. Regardless of the sleep your child needs, they will be less likely to get it if they spend time on screens at bedtime. A study conducted in 2019 revealed that adolescents who used their phones in bed were likely to sleep later and have a less refreshing sleep.

Like adults, children are also not getting enough sleep, but researchers have argued that it is not just a result of increased screen time but a lack of consistency in bedtime. A survey conducted on over 1,000 families revealed that a regular routine is equally important to get to bed early.

It does not matter what your routine consists of, but as long as you consistently go to your bed at a fixed time, you will experience better sleep.

Playtime is important

Screens have killed playtime, but experts still believe that this is what teaches your children to be human. Children play-act things that they see their parents doing. A study conducted a few years back observed children playing with making tortillas and going to the office.

These kinds of play activities prepare them to be suitable for this world. Based on the observations, researchers concluded that such kind of play activities is a social apprenticeship, preparing them to prepare for their place in this world.

Another study revealed that children learn better when they are playful. A couple of students were given a jigsaw puzzle to complete in a study. Children were divided into two groups. Half of them were given instructions on how to perform the task with proper sitting arrangement, while the rest were asked to sit on the floor and offered encouragement, not instructions.

Though the floor-sitting children seemed to be distracted, they solved the puzzle more quickly than those who had proper instructions to solve it. It may seem to be a weird way to help children learn things, but it is actually an effective method. Scientists believe that it is the way human beings are wired to learn.

Is screen time actually bad for your children?

Screen time is not completely bad. If your children spend some time on screen, it does not need to cause any worries. However, experts restrict screen time just before going to bed or excess usage. It may make your children addicted to digital media, leading to poor sleep, obesity, aggressive behaviour, unhealthy food choice, and the like.

Experts suggest that you should egg your children on watching high-quality educational shows that help improve their knowledge and build their vocabulary. You should also not worry about a gaming session. A study conducted in 2019 revealed that cooperative online games help your children build stronger and healthier friendships after the gaming session. Competitive games, on the contrary, tend to hurt the feeling of friendship, though temporarily.

Suggested screen time by use of age

AgeScreen Time
18 months and belowAvoid screen time with the exception of video chatting with parents
18 to 24 monthsIntroduce digital media for high-quality education programmes. You should also watch along with them, so they understand what they see.
2 to 5 yearsLimit screen time to one hour. Approve high-quality programmes only. Watch it with them, so they understand what they see and apply it to the world around them.
6 to 12 yearsPut a limit on the use of digital media. Make sure it does not affect sleeping hours, physical activities, and other essential things.
12 years and olderDesignate media-free times such as driving and dining. Bedrooms should be media-free locations.

Baby talk is important

Human beings are more dependent than any other species on their parents when they come into the world. However, their hearing is advanced. In other words, they are born listeners. Researchers have found that babies learn the rhythm of maternal language while being in the womb.

Despite being able to listen, babies can develop the ability to express themselves only with their parents’ help after a year or two. Therefore, repetitive baby talk is a must. When you talk to them, you need to ensure that you use the most straightforward words to talk to them, with exaggerated expressions and a slower pitch.

Though they do not understand the meaning of words you say to them, they hear the exaggerated pitch in baby talk, and they learn from it. Researchers have also found that babies like baby talk. They are highly sensitive to sounds, but when you immerse them in baby talk, they look at your exaggerated expressions, and they realise that they need to pay attention.

The final word

Screen time is not bad as long as your children watch high-quality educational programmes. Whether you have a little baby or very young kids, you should spend time with them as that will actually help with their development.

Buying your children an iPad is not a bad idea but make sure they do not immerse themselves in it because it takes a toll on their learning, behaviour, etc. Making your children familiar with technological gadgets, including digital media, has become necessary but should not be excessive.

You may have to take out fast loans in Ireland to buy devices that let your children interact with the online world, but this must be restricted.