Kids and Screen Time
Information compiled by Erin Bryant, MSW, LISW from the book, Growing Up Social: raising relational kids in a screen-driven world by Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane
Struggling with the amount of screen time your children are getting? Feeling like they are on their phones, computers, tablets, or in front of the TV too often? Then the book, Growing Up Social: raising relational kids in a screen-driven world by Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane, is for you. This book does a wonderful job of providing research statistics, as well as feedback on ways to help your children build social skills apart from technology. It assists you, the parent, in finding alternatives for screen time and how to cope with the “tantrum” that may follow with electronics time becoming more limited. Here are just a few bullet points from the book, but reading the book in its entirety can be very informative and helpful!
- “The more a child is involved in screen time, the less time there is for interaction with parents, siblings, and friends.” –Dr Gary Chapman
- “Thirty-nine percent of families with infants and young children have a television on at least six hours per day-with negative effects… A child’s ability to learn language is directly related to the amount of talk time he or she has with a parent. When the television is on, Mom or dad is less likely to engage in conversation, resulting in a small vocabulary for that child.”
- Four questions to ask yourself regarding whether it is wise for your child to watch a particular program of video game: 1- “What factual data is my child learning from this program?” 2-“What kind of character traits is this program seeking to build in my child.” 3- “How does this program treat family members?” 4-“Is this program consistent with our family values?”
- Children are learning about how the world works from screens instead of from family, teachers, etc. This has had an impact of children’s academics, respect levels, and sense of entitlement.
- “The screen-driven child enjoys constant rewards and fails to thrive when he isn’t praised fast enough or often enough.” This isn’t setting our children up for life in the real world.
- Children need to learn “A+ skills” which are not reinforced through screen time. A+ skills: Show Affection, Appreciate others, Deal with Anger, Learn to Apologize, Pay Attention.
- The average person’s attention span has dropped by 40% since the year 2000. “Constant digital stimulation creates attention problems for children who already struggle with self-control and making healthy choices.”
- “Children who grow up on screen becomes wired to use their gadgets to communicate instead of face-to-face interaction with people.”
- Screen addiction is rising.
- Screen time and security: Risk of children being exposed to more bullying, predators, and pornography. Also, less privacy.
Cell phone statistics: “67% of cell phone owners find themselves checking their phone for messages, alerts, or calls-even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating. 44% of cell phone owners have slept with their phone next to their bed because they wanted to make sure they didn’t miss calls, text messages, or updates during the night. 29% of cell owners describe their cellphones as ‘something they can’t live without.’”