When your 2-year-old is having their fourth (though it feels like fortieth) tantrum of the day, it can be so easy to fire up the iPad. When your toddler is comforted by Paw Patrol and you really need to clean the kitchen, who wouldn’t want to turn on the TV for them? When you hear about their preschool using tablets, it only makes sense why you would want your child to learn how to use some modern day technology.
Kids are using tablets and technology more and more, and sooner than ever. There are drawbacks and benefits to this, and East Valley Christian School is here to focus on them all. Find out what the professionals are saying about young kids using screen time, and look into enrollment with our private preschool and kindergarten programs in San Jose!
Too Much Screen Time Is Bad
We’re still on the cusp of developing research to analyze the effects of screen time on children’s brains and bodies as a whole. But what we do know so far has been pretty clear: too much screen time is not good.
As CBS News reports, “There is new evidence that spending too much time using digital devices could hurt children’s eyesight. A study published in the journal PLOS One finds school-aged children who spent seven hours or more a week using computers or mobile video games tripled their risk for myopia, or nearsightedness.” The blue light from screens is also thought to affect our ability to sleep, which is highly detrimental to childhood development.
Hinders Social Growth
The downsides to screen time aren’t only physical. When children plug in, they’re missing out on essential opportunities for social-emotional growth. We’ve all seen families set up the tablet and headphones for their young child at a restaurant — we might even be this parent ourselves. The intentions are rarely bad — parents want to enjoy a meal in peace and not upset other patrons — but it’s not socially engaging for children.
Kids need practice with social situations. They need to learn how to engage with others, and what appropriate social behavior looks and feels like. Giving children too much time with screens can hinder them from learning these invaluable social lessons.
Little to No Screen Time for Children Under 5
Baby Center talks about the importance of limiting (or cutting out altogether) screen time for younger children: “The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends keeping all screens off around babies and toddlers younger than 18 months.” As tempting as it can be, it’s best to keep screens away from your young ones until they reach this age.
Once children reach the age of two, it’s recommended that they get no more than one hour of screen time a day. This can be exceptionally hard to implement, but it’s to help your child be as healthy as possible.
This is a great thing to keep in mind as you’re looking for daycares or preschools. You should feel free to ask program leaders about the amount of screen time in a given day, and if their answer doesn’t promote your child’s growth, it’s OK to look elsewhere.
At East Valley Christian School, our preschool and daycare programs are rooted in Christianity and helping every child thrive. We limit screen time, focusing instead on teaching Christian values and morals, early literacy and math skills, social interaction, and emotional growth and development. If we’re the preschool that your family is looking for, we’d love to help answer any questions you might have. Look into our application timeline and admissions before space fills up — we look forward to meeting you!