As a parent of two young kids, I can say that it is difficult to balance screen time, playtime, study time, and down time. At our house we really try to limit screen time with the TV, iPad, and computers. As all parent have noted, children really gravitate toward the screen.
A new study shows that young children who watch too much TV and spent too much time in front of a screen are not getting the sleep that they need. The study also looked at when kids are being sneaky and their parents don’t know about it.
This recent study came from the University of Michigan and looked at levels of screen time among children who are four years old or going to preschool. It looked at 278 kids and how they use DVD, VCR, video games, computer, and Internet use. The children’s parents were also asked about how often kids were sneaking screen time in without asking their parents permission. The research show that increase screen time was associated with getting a shorter night of sleep and also taking a longer daytime nap. Young children need 10 to 13 hours of sleep per night.
The study also showed that kids who were caught sneaking in screen time without permission were sleeping last night, taking longer daytime naps and also going to bed later compared to children who did not sneak screen time without their parents permission. Again the study shows that screen time has a negative impact on healthy development for children.
The study also showed that kids who had a TV in their bedroom were more likely to use the computer or TV without their parents permission.
Many times we say that kids are going to do what their parents do at home and what they see happening at home. In the study it was revealed that kids whose parents were having media users we’re also having media users themselves and so the research suggests that this is not just an issue for young children but also for the whole family the issue should be addressed.
As our society becomes even more media dependent, we need to be watching how our children are interacting with social media, TV, computers and screen time in general.