Just five or ten years ago screen time for toddlers wasn’t really an issue. Sure, a parent may put a toddler in front of a little television but it is generally easy to keep them amused with a variety of games and activities.
However, the modern world is becoming increasingly digital. That means children, even as young as toddlers, are gaining access to computer or tablet screens. In fact, you’ll find that many of the best child care centers, such as this center for early learning Chatswood, are also incorporating screens into the learning process.
The simple truth is children need to know how to use this technology. But, as with most things in life, there needs to be balanced. So, how do you decide how much screen time your toddler should have?
What the Experts Say
The experts state that a child under the age of two doesn’t need access to screen tile. They are fully capable of developing through traditional methods of play and learning. In fact, research suggests a child under two is more likely to learn through a physical presence than a video.
However, once they become two it is acceptable to allow them some screen time. The experts recommend one hour a day is enough.
Of course, this will change according to your routine and the way your child responds to screen time. Any child that is particularly intelligent may be able to devour the contents on the screen and find it a useful learning tool. In this situation, more screen time can be beneficial.
However, you do need to set ground rules.
The first thing you need to do is to decide how much time you feel is fair for your child to be on the screen every day. You can then tell them this is their limit.
The main question you need to answer then is whether to trust them to only use the time you have given them or not. In the case of a toddler, this should be simple as they will need you to pass them the screen. However, as they age it will be harder to police the time they are on the internet.
No Solo Use
It is very important that your toddler is not left alone on the internet or other digital application. They are just learning about digital technology and you need to guide them through the process.
That means sitting with them while they are on the screen and chatting to them about the process of moving through screens as well as what they see.
Talk About It
It is essential that you use the filters available from your internet provider to minimize your toddler’s access to inappropriate material. This will save embarrassing and awkward moments.
These filters can be used as they age but it is harder to cover all eventualities. That’s why it is important to talk to your child about digital technology, the risks, and the precautions they should take.