Guest Post – How Much Screen Time Is OK?

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Your child’s vision will not deteriorate from reading or staring at the screen. The lens of your kid’s eye cannot be altered by the screen (WebMD, Computer Vision Syndrome). However, other things can happen. Your kid can become easily tired, obese or even aggressive. They can develop headaches and even insomnia as a result of too much screen time. Answering this question with a simple number is not easy because it involves a lot of factors. Here are the things to consider once you decide to do something about the time your child spends gazing at a screen.

Your Child’s Age

The crucial age when it comes to deciding on a decent amount of screen time is the age of two. Before turning two, your child should not be exposed to screens. They are too small to understand what is coming from the screen, so the benefits are really reduced. On the other hand, it can hurt their sleeping pattern or exhaust the muscles of their eyes. Therefore, before the age of two, forget about leaving your kid in front of TV or a computer. Even when they turn two, sitting in front of a tablet or your flat screen should not exceed two hours during the day. Increase that number of hours with your kids age only if it involves quality content.

The Quality of the Screen Time

It is very wrong to say that any type of screen time is a bad thing. There are many benefits that your child can gain by using things like computer, smartphone or tablet. The obvious thing is that by introducing these devices into a kid’s life, you are helping them become a digital native. Besides that, there are many amazing apps, programs and different types of content that cater to your kid’s inquisitive mind and its type of intelligence. It allows your young one to learn in a fun way.

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Things You Can Do

Do not try to make your child’s life screen-free. It is not a solution and it will not do your kid any good. However, you can make sure that the time it spends in front of a screen is of high quality. A lot of child care centres implement educational technologies into their daily programs. Different educational authorities like British Council or Cambridge University Press offer a lot of online games and courses that children can use to develop their language skills, among the others.

The Types of Screens and Devices

It is the entirely different thing if your child reads from a paper or from the screen. The issue with the screens is that radiates light and flickers. However, not all screens are bad for your eyes. There are those advanced screens that block the radiation or have a high refresh rate. That means that the flicker is reduced to a minimum. When purchasing a device that your little one will be exposed to, make sure that it is of high quality. This goes for TVs, monitors, tablets and smartphones, respectively.

Modern gadgets and devices are a part of our everyday life. It will become even more integral part of the lives or our children. Therefore, denying them the right to learn how to use those gadgets responsibly is not the answer. The best you can do is to teach children to look at the screen only if a quality content is in question. Also, it is great if they can combine the screen time with some sort of physical activity, like singing, dancing or miming sport movements. Screens are not your enemy, they are the tools to make your kid smarter and happier.

About the author

Gabriella Diesendorf is a freelance writer from Australia and a devoted mother. She loves badgering about beauty, green lifestyle choices and parenting techniques, and if you mention attachment parenting or natural makeup she will bore you to death.

Guest Post: Fulfilled Montessori Childhood

 

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This week’s Guest Post is written by the talented Emma Lawson on the subject of an educational approach with an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological, physical, and social development. 

There is a lot of skepticism present among the parents, because this is not one of the traditional ways to educate and raise your children. Parents usually find this method avant-garde and Montessori learning is frequently frowned upon. Despite all this, Montessori Method has many benefits and advantages.

Montessori and babies

As the babies’ first encountered environment was mother’s womb you should provide the same environment for your babies after they were born. The new environment is the bedroom, so try making it safe and quiet as the womb was, so that your infants can adjust positively to the new world. According to Montessori Method your babies should not sleep in a baby crib, instead they should be on a mattress on the floor and surrounded with pillows. And they should sleep like that until they are three years old. In order to keep your babies warm you can put them in a baby swaddle. This unique product enables your infants to freely move their limbs, just like they did inside the womb.

Until the age of 3

From the moment your children come to this world and until the age of 3, they are like sponges. Their brains are yet to be formed and that is why they need proper environment to help them grow. At their early ages, children are interested in sounds and movements of their parents. You have to be careful which tone you use around them, so it is better for their development of language abilities to speak clearly and without raising your voice or using baby talk. Tell them stories, listen to music together and interact with them as much as possible.

Another important thing is toilet learning. It is very important for adults to control themselves and not make odd faces when they come in contact with urine and feces. Children have to learn that using a potty is as important and easy as learning how to eat. When teaching your children how to use toilet, let them sit there naked. This will allow them to explore things and will learn to use toilet more independently later on.

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Ages 4 to 6

In this period of their lives children are learning a lot of crucial movements for their later development and life. It is important that children are surrounded with best quality toys which can help them express themselves better, teach them to appreciate beauty and respect themselves and the environment. By enrolling your children to Montessori oriented preschools you are helping your children develop self-care, better organization and cognitive abilities. In addition to that, they will learn to respect the environment and to cooperate with others. Also, they will be more capable of learning anything on their own. This method is beneficial when it comes to developing academic, physical and psycho-social abilities, and it will provide children with positive attitudes toward schools and learning.

Even though this method has been frowned upon for a long time, more and more parents are actually adopting it. It is highly beneficial for early developments of every aspect of your children’s lives. What is more, they will one day become more independent and successful people, but only if you show them how to respect the others and the environment. And there is no better way than Montessori Method.

Emma is a teacher, constantly improving her skills both as a teacher and as a parent. She is passionate about writing and learning new things that can help you to lead a quality life. You can follow her on Twitter @EmmahLawson