Screen time tips for new parents
As a new parent, you’ll likely be looking for every piece of knowledge that you can find to help you become the best parent that you can be. One unique challenge that new parents face is technology, particularly technology with screens.
Screens have become a mainstay of our daily lives – you’re reading this on a screen right now! Whilst many of us have accepted screens for ourselves, there is still debate about how much children should be using them. To help you cut through the debate and make informed choices for your children, here are some simple screen time tips for every new parent.
You are what you watch
Screen time can be good or bad for children based on two things: what they do with the screens and how often they use them. The first step is to show your children content that will benefit them in some way. For example, there are great free kids cartoons for babies that are designed to educate and entertain your child at the same time. There are also apps that aren’t just designed for fun, but for learning too. Simply do your research, and ensure that if you’re going to let your child use a screen they get a little more than just entertainment out of the experience.
Make it a hobby, not a habit
The second thing to address with screens is how much they’re used. If you use screens every time your child is bored, being hard to deal with, or simply wants something to do, screens will become a habit and your child’s go-to for many of their needs. Instead, if you use screens occasionally and for a reason, your child will simply see screens as just one of their many hobbies and interests.
Cultivate your child’s interests in multiple things, like sports, reading, and other hobbies, and they won’t be dependent on them entirely!
Show them how it’s done
Your child will pick up their behaviour and habits from you. They will learn how to walk, how to talk, how to interact with others, and even how to use screens from you. If you are constantly scrolling, videoing every meal, and using multiple screens whenever you have a spare moment, your child will think that this behaviour is normal and emulate it. If you don’t want your child to use screens all the time, you need to lead by example.
When it comes to screens, moderation is key – especially with young children. Try to find a balance between using them and doing other things and you’ll be on the right track. Don’t be too hard on yourself and just do the best you can. Good luck!