As parents and teachers, we all know that too much screen time is not a good thing. And yet, many of us are so addicted to our own phones and tablets we hardly have the energy to monitor how our children are spending their time!
Guess what? Many of our children are spending too much time looking at screens. Guess what else? We, the adults in their lives, need to help them redirect their focus. (For the record, the sad irony that I am sharing this information in an online blog post is not lost on me…so as soon as you finish reading this, put down your screen and go interact with your family!)
A recent post on our Facebook page (there’s that pesky irony again…) included a link to an article in Scientific America that spells out pretty clearly some of the benefits of reducing kids’ media time.
In “Kids on Screen-Time Diet Lost Weight and Got Better Grades,” Douglas Gentile makes the case that parents (that’s us!) have a vital role to play in setting appropriate boundaries.
“Children whose parents set more limits on the amount and content of media were now getting more sleep, had gained less weight (lowering their risk of obesity), were getting better grades in school, exhibited more helpful and cooperative social behaviors in school, and were less aggressive with their peers (as seen by the classroom teachers),” Gentile writes.
Yikes! I gotta get home to unplug a few things…
Read Gentile’s article and share any comments you have about his findings. Even better, send us some suggestions for how we can set limits on our kids’ (and our OWN!) media intake.
Bill Diskin is director of admission and financial aid at Cannon School. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cannon School is a JrK-12 independent school located in Concord, NC.