Recently WebMD released a new study that shows risks for kids who watch TV or use computers for more than 2 hours a day.
The study, which involved 1,013 children ages 10-11, found that those who spent more than two hours in front of a screen, whether watching TV, using a computer, or a combination, also were more likely to say they had trouble relating to friends and peer groups and to report feelings of unhappiness.
What is this telling parents? There are several observations and recommendations. Sadly, the truth is that not only are kids spending more screen time, so are their parents. What sort of example are you setting for your kids? Does this mean that parents are suffering emotionally too?
As our world spins and expands digitally, parenting needs to spin and make the appropriate boundaries to allow for not only screen time, but also physical activity and family time. A time to turn it all off and get back to verbal conversations. More and more parents are admitting that they more of a “texting” relationship with their teen compared to actually speaking with them. Isn’t this a red flag?
Connect with Kids recently published an article on this topic and listed 11 tips for parents to help their children make a painless transition from couch potato to a physically and pro-socially active child:
- Remove television sets from children’s bedrooms.
- View television programs with children and discuss the content.
- Record high-quality, educational programming for children.
- Suggest several options for positive physical and pro-social activities that are available through local park districts, schools, and community programs.
- Recommend pro-social activities, such as volunteering at Humane Society of the United States (visit www.hsus.org).
- Encourage alternative activities for children, including hobbies, athletics, and
- creative play.
- Support efforts to establish comprehensive programs in schools that include quality, daily physical education; classroom education; daily recess periods; and extracurricular physical activity programs.
- Form coalitions including libraries, faith-based organizations, and neighborhood groups to help provide physical and social environments that encourage and enable safe and enjoyable physical activity, including new sidewalks, safe parks and keeping close-to-home physical activity facilities open at night.
- Ensure that appropriate activity options are available for disabled children.
- Serve as a good role model; watch the time spent viewing television and surfing the Internet in the home.
What is your child doing right now?
Be an educated parent, you will have healthier and safer teens.