The exciting nature of screen time can trigger the release of dopamine, a feel-good neurotransmitter that makes us associate screens with pleasure and therefore something we want to spend more time with. When the game stops, so does dopamine release and for some individuals this can result in irritability.
Time spent in front of a screen is also time your kids are not spending engaged in other activities, many of which minimize behavior problems.
Kids with more than two hours a day of screen time by the age of 5 are almost eight times more likely to meet the criteria for ADD/ADHD than youngsters who spend less than 30 minutes a day looking at a screen, according to a 2019 Canadian study in Plos One.
The next time you’re tempted to use screen time as a sort of babysitter, think twice. You could be setting up your child for a lifetime of struggle. It’s best to limit your preschooler’s screen time to no more than 30 minutes a day. Here are three ways to limit your preschooler’s screen time.
1. Use parental controls.
Tablets and smartphones come equipped with control options that allow parents to monitor and limit screen time.
2. Set and enforce screen rules.
No screens at the dinner table. No screens in the car. No screens before bedtime. Whatever rules you set, be sure to enforce them. This will help preschoolers develop a healthier relationship with their tech gadgets.
3. Encourage physical activity.
Take your child to the park, swimming pool, or activity center or sign them up for group sports so they can burn off energy while having fun and learning new skills. Exercise increases blood flow to all parts of the body, including the brain, and it boosts focus and attention. Kids who spent at least two hours a week playing organized sports were less likely to have behavioral issues. When ADD patients play sports, such as basketball, which involves intense aerobic exercise, they tend to do better in school.
Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.
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