How Much Screen Time Should A Toddler Have?

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I recently bought my daughter a Kindle Fire Tablet. (All-New Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet, 7″ Display, 16 GB, Pink Kid-Proof Case) It flies in the face of my thoughts about screen time and kids but i had noticed how much benefit it was having on her language since she has been using her older siblings, that i felt it would be beneficial.

If you are looking to purchase a child’s tablet, i can fully recommend the Kids Kindle Fire, which has not only a years free downloads for kids, but a 2 year replacement warranty for any breakages. We have used this twice with no quibble from Amazon, quick turnaround for a replacement and it was really easy to do online from their website. Plus you can limit the time kids spend on the tablet, which is great to avoid any upset from the child, as the tablet tells them ‘that’s it for today’.

I was not always so ‘anti screen time’ in fact, i was quite the opposite, our TV was on ALL DAY, EVERYDAY. I saw no harm and scoffed at anyone who suggested that it wasn’t good.

However, i was lucky enough to go to a parenting conference and see Aric Sigmun talk. I will be honest, i laughed at his suggestions, i scoffed and i was very close minded. Still i bought his book at the end of the talk, as something spoke to me.

I read the book with fervour and the more i read, the more i felt that we watched way to much TV, so i experimented and cut out the TV. Strange things started happening. My son with developmental delays started playing more, had less tantrums and the real difference he started to talk!

Had screen time caused him issues? Aric had suggested that children on the spectrum (which we suspected my son was) were more susceptible to brain changes from too much screen time. Limiting it for us as a family really worked and over 3 years we pretty much never watched TV anymore and had no access to screens, instead using the time to play and bond with our kids.

I did opt for the older boys to have a tab a year or so ago. Their screen time has increased considerably now, but rather than having a negative effect, they are at an age where it is beneficial in furthering their learning.

My youngest child, who is almost 2, has expressed no interest in TV or screens, in fact i was concerned that there was something wrong, all kids like TV right? Well apparently not. She was always too busy playing or getting up to mischief to have time to sit still in front of a screen.

About 4 weeks ago she started taking more of an interest in the older children’s Kindle Fire Tablets. So, we allowed her to watch it when the boys were not on it. I saw a huge upward trend in her talking during that time! Co-incidence?

I am not sure, but what i do know is she likes to sit and watch videos, whether it be singing or counting or Teletubbies, and its had a positive effect on her language. All the words we had said, but she had shown no interest in verbalising herself is suddenly appearing at a rapid rate. Counting to 8 is the latest addition to her repertoire. I am quite the proud Mama.

After much deliberation i purchased a tablet this week. She seems very happy with it and i will continue to let her have access to it, keeping a close eye on how she is doing. I think all children being invariably different do better with various level of screen time exposure. For my son none was better, for my daughter more is better.

Above all though, is remembering that as parents we need to be present for our kids when they need it, but not to feel shame that occasionally a screen is the baby sitter. Moderation is key!

Do you think screen time is a good idea? Perhaps you have a negative experience with screens, pop your comment below and let me hear your thoughts!

 

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