Screen Time and Your Child’s Development—Do They Go Hand In Hand?

Is your child bothering you as you try to work from home? There’s nothing an iPad can’t fix, right?

Sure, an iPad may keep them from distracting you, but what is it doing to your child’s health in the long-run? Medical experts are sounding the alarm on excessive screen time and its impact on a child’s development.

The World Health Organization has said that kids under the age of 5 should have limited screen time; it’s even better if they have no screen time at all.

Parents have become too comfortable with giving their kids electronic devices to play with, not realizing how it’s impacting their child’s health.

Let’s take a closer look at what screen time does to a child’s development:

Hinder Critical Thinking Skills

Screen time has a direct impact on a child’s critical thinking abilities—skills that are crucial for their development. A child that can’t think critically loses their will or ability to learn and respond to their surroundings.

You see, when your kid is sitting behind a screen, they’re thinking “passively” instead of “actively.”  

Passive thoughts are just responses to stimuli; passive thinking is what your child is using when they’re shooting a target on the screen, for example. They see a target and they shoot; it’s one dimensional, and there’s not much to think about.

When your kid is reading, writing, and drawing, they’re thinking actively.  During such activities, various parts of the brain light up to produce a more dynamic response.

Toddlers develop critical thinking skills when they engage in conversation, interactive play, write, read, draw, etc.

Reduce Attention Span and Limit Imagination

Your child’s attention span is determined by multiple environmental factors and how comfortable they are with thinking critically. Because today’s kids are so used to sitting in front of the screen, they find it difficult to focus on tasks when they’re asked to.

It’s a lot less work to observe and respond to stimuli on a screen than to actively use their brains during reading and writing.

Reduced Physical Activity

Around 13.9% of kids between the age of 2 and 5 in the US are obese. It’s no secret that screen time leads to a sedentary lifestyle.  

To protect your child’s mental and physical health, we suggest you find a better way to keep them occupied.

Centerra Ranch Montessori School is based in Katy, Texas, and also offers day care services for infants as young as 3 months old.

Take a look at our programs for pre-primary kids and kindergarteners. Contact us for more information.

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