Are your children addicted little screen lovers? Is there nothing you can do to tear them away from the latest episode of Peppa Pig or SpongeBob SquarePants? We’ve been there ourselves (our baby models are often fond of a few minutes of Adventure Time before we start shooting) – but luckily charity Action for Children is on hand to prove that none of us are alone in the struggle against the screen – a recent survey of theirs showed that almost one in four, or 23% of parents struggle to limit their kids’ screen time, compared to just 17.5% who battled with bedtimes and 19% who fought against unhealthy eating habits. The little squares of light have clearly been testing their seductive powers – but are we in fact to blame?
As with all habits it’s best to lead by example, so it’s hardly surprising that kids and toddlers are being sucked in by the bright lights of phones and tablets when we’re constantly glued to them ourselves. Rumours are also rife about screens causing damage to young eyes and fuelling obesity, but as experts like Liat Hughes Joshi, author of ‘How to Unplug Your Child’ have said – “It’s important not to demonise screen time, as it’s not all bad. Tech is clearly a big part of all our lives now and there’s no getting away from that.”
True, screens have revolutionised our forms of entertainment, education, work and socialising – but let’s also remember that raising kids was entirely possible before the four-cornered devils came into our lives, and occasionally it can be good to return to a simpler lifestyle. Here are Action for Children’s top tips for ensuring your offspring don’t become too reliant on their bright and shinies as they grow up–
A few other suggestions we like are giving kids a 15 minute warning before their screen time is up, and remembering that however much they plead, kids can do without their own iPads when a family one is readily available. As for what age is acceptable for buying kids their own phones and tablets, that could just be a whole other debate…feel free to let us know your thoughts on it in the comments!