Screen Time for Kids, Screen time and children

Kid’s screen time - with Katy Toma

She has traveled all over the place, observing for hundreds of hours children's behavior, and learning how to build those skills to be successful in life and learning. Her mission is to make parents understand that they need to raise their kids in a world of technology in a mindful manner.

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What you should keep in mind in regards to kids' screen time management:

  • Kids mirror your behavior. If a child sees the parents walking around with a phone or watching a TV, they will learn it is normal.
  • Implementing technologies in life isn't a finished process. The kids get confused, and we get stressed and frustrated. Give yourself some time to adjust to them.
  • Understand that technology is part of our life. These children were born with the fourth dimension, in a world of complex information. Accept this is our boarding for technology. This education starts long before they come out of the womb.
  • Spending all day on the screen is not suitable and not healthy for anyone.
  • Make sure you watch short movies or short stories together and always go back and discuss after you close the device.

What attitude to screens should you promote?

Anything which is forbidden, it's sweet. Use the phone and devices as an educational tool, but never as a reward or punishment. They learn very fast that we bribe them when we need time or silence.

Teach them that you hold in your hand the actual knowledge and how to access it and benefit from it, so you won’t feel guilty when you give them a phone to get some time.

Don't bribe them, and don't reward them with technology. Spend quality time with them, and show them that it is part of life, and we can control it.

Have trust. Nobody can break it if you and your child had an agreement. If kids feel that you trust them, they will be aware and not try to adventure in the unknown. Establishing this understanding will allow you to do your thing in the future.

Valuable tips on how to make screen time an educational tool?

Spend quality time with your child on the screen. Spending all day on the phone is not healthy for anyone, so there should be time limits.

  • Sit down for 10 minutes or 20 minutes and watch together
  • Demonstrate that you have to watch things, pay attention, and listen.
  • Talk with them about what you just saw (but at a later age)
  • Babies have to see that this is a controlled time by the parents
  • Put the screen away and connect with your kid

They learned that this is a fantastic tool, but we have to control it and not allow it to control us.

What should parents be aware of when introducing technology to their families?

Do not hide from technologies, but organize it: change our mindset from being angry about being flexible. Technology makes us live so much better and simpler. Let your kids use the technology.

Our kids have many channels of communication today. And instead of blaming them, we better join them from the beginning on that channels.

Teach your kid now if anything happens, don't be afraid to ask for help. Shut down that device immediately ask for help from somebody who's near you.

Spend screen time to learn or communicate with people. There is screen time when you just watch for the sake of watching. And screentime when you use it. It's a completely different time.

How to combat that dependence from being a stressed-out parent and not knowing what to do?

Don’t use the phone as a pacifier. Once you use it as a pacifier, the baby will know exactly how hard he has to cry to get back this tool. It's not healthy to have a child who can only sleep if he's watching something or eating when you take his attention away from what he's eating.

Establish an agreement. Then both sides have to follow up the deal. If you're all over the home with your child, you don't need the phone until you leave the house.

How to combat already existing dependence?

Give them the phone when they request, but you sit with them and watch together. After a few minutes, you will say that it would be wonderful to play with the cubes or something that the baby likes to do. Take the screen down and play with your kid.

Is that allowed to have some screen before bedtime?

The screen is dopamine to our brain, and it starts working and thinking depending on what you watch. Many apps calm down your mind and close down your thoughts to make you focus. We live in a world that is full of noise. Our brain might need that. We have tools to help us and our kids have a better sleep. However, that cannot be some bright, exciting videos or comedy.

Join and take the positive side, be flexible, and do not forget that our children will live in a world of technology. They need to adapt as that is impacting their skills and their future.

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