Kids Using Technology- The Screentime Delima

Smart boards, Smart phones, Tablets, etc, and more. The rapid influx of new screen devices poses a special challenge for early childhood community. Screen time is the amount of time that someone spends using a device or computer, watching television or playing on a gaming console. Although managing this is important, focusing on the type of activities that children are doing online is essential. A recent report suggested using the Goldilocks method – ‘not too little, not too much but just the right amount’. New technologies are exciting and often equated with progress. One big challenge is that it is hard to find objective information about whether to use any sort of screen technology in early childhood settings.


Benefits of screen time
  • Online games and activities can enhance teamwork and creativity
  • The internet gives children access to a wealth of information to help build their knowledge
  • Interacting with computer improves both visual intelligence and hand-eye coordination
  • Technology takes away physical barriers to social connections – which is important for children who find it hard to make friends or have special interests or special needs.
  • Children with computers at home perform better academically than others who do not have ready access to computers.
  • Outcomes for children are better if they benefit from connected technology.
Disadvantages of too much screen time
  • Raise risk of attention problems, anxiety and depression.
  • Sleep cycles are affected by blue light from screens tricking our brain into thinking it is still daylight, making it difficult to sleep.
  • Raise risk for gaining too much weight
  • Screen-based entertainment increases central nervous system arousal, which can amplify anxiety.

As parents raising children who are part of the digital generation should have a mindful approach to media. Instead of controlling their children’s use of screen time, they should consider the type of learning that is taking place, the level and quality of engagement, the nature of content as well as the context of engagement. Rather getting too hung up on the screen time, parents should consider the factors like happiness index of children, whether they are getting along with friends in school, whether they are sleeping well and their overall well being and character development.