Screen time

Screen time- to dual, or not to dual? 

Screen time is the amount of time that your child spends looking at a screen of any type such as; a phone, tablet, computer, or Mac while playing a game or watching a movie. The screen still considered any screen. In some cases children are watching a movie while playing a game, this is called dual screen time. Distractions from one or the other may dilute the meaning or objective from one or the other. If your child is playing a game on their handheld device or phone, their attention is split in an attempt to grasp the movie they are watching.
This same concept can be related to adults as well. Multitasking is common yet how successful are we at it. Children are not more successful than adults; truth be told they are most likely more engrossed in their game than the movie. Think about a browser window you cannot look at two tabs at once, we can not read what in two windows at the same time. 

Screen time can be controlled in many ways. For example, setting a family movie night, family game night, or rewarding your child with game time. If you were to offer gaming as a reward to a task such as homework, you might notice that your child can complete their work faster.

By allowing your child to use one screen at a time they focus their attention on one task at a time.  Consider the same scenario at your office or workplace. Yes,  you are a great multi-tasker, however, when you focus your attention on one thing, that one thing would most likely get done quicker than trying to complete three different things at once. 

What happens when you reduce screen time? 

Screen time is enjoyable for everyone but think about all the things that can be done without a display. 

  • Children who enjoy gaming can make a puppet of their favorite character then have them act out a scene that took place in a game. This promotes their memory, creativity, and imagination all of which are invoked by video game play. 
  • As a family, you could reenact a scene from a  game that you play together. Take Mario Cart, you could build your cars out of cardboard boxes and race them. For older children, this process may be a little more challenging and require creativity.
  •  For example, an outing to a bookstore, comic store, or military museum may be more acceptable. The bookstore and the comic store would enviably promote reading. However, a military museum would allow them to see what real military gear looks like. This trip would work best for those who play any military game. The key is to get them off the screen and imagine, create, and think. 


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