When weather conditions are not conducive to outdoor play, your child may spend a little more time watching TV, watching a movie, playing a computer, using the tablet, or exploring the Internet.
However, because there is a wide variety of programs, movies, computer games, apps, and websites, it’s important to help your child choose the right quality products for their group. age.
Here are some ideas that will turn these times of inner entertainment into opportunities to comfort, play and teach.
According to the Canadian Sedentary Behavior Guidelines for Early Childhood, children 2 to 4 years old should not exceed 1 hour of passive activity per day and children 5 years and older, not more than 2 hours, all screens combined. That is to say that we must consider together the hours spent watching television, playing the computer, etc. Children under 2 should not be exposed to television or computer.
Offer him programs designed for his age and encourage him to choose the ones he prefers. By helping him make good choices, you show him that you have his interests at heart.
If possible, sit with your child while watching TV or stay close. Once the show is over, take a few minutes to discuss it with them to turn this solitary activity into a social experience. This will also allow you to discover the learning he has done through this show.
Plan interesting activities to do after the television listening session. Your child will want to turn off the camera to do something else, such as reading, drawing, preparing a puppet show, playing with friends, or practicing physical activity. He will learn to distract himself otherwise than by watching television.
Do not let your child watch programs for adults. Many parents think that very young children do not understand the content of adult programs, such as teleromans, police programs, and news bulletins. Yet, an increasing number of studies show that this content leaves a strong impression on them. Knowing this, you may want to record your favorite show and watch it later, when your child is in bed.
Watch your child’s films in advance to make sure they do not contain any violent scenes or characters that could scare them away. Some movies may also convey stereotypes that may not correspond to your values. It is important to choose films that convey a positive message and that really appeals to your child.
Have an afternoon or evening of family home theater. This is a great opportunity to spend quality time with your child. After viewing, discuss the film with your child to discover what he has learned from the story and characters.
Introduce your child to different types of content, for example, feature films, cartoons, and animal documentaries or other topics of interest. He will discover the variety of content offered and develop his own tastes.
Computer games and video game consoles
Install the computer in the family room. You will prevent your child spending too much time playing alone and encourage them to interact with others. This will also ensure that he plays games appropriate for his age.
Computer games have some benefits for your child. They teach him how to use a mouse and keyboard, search and archive files, print documents, and more. This computer culture will be very useful to him, if not indispensable when he will be in school and possibly in the labor market.
Avoid violent games because they are not suitable for young children. In North America, the Entertainment Software Rating Board offers a ranking of video games and apps by the age at which they are appropriate.
Set up a parental control. For the iPad, it is possible to do it by going in “Settings”, then in “Restrictions”. You can also download parental control apps like POTATI.
Introduce your child to the protection of their privacy by teaching them to use a nickname rather than their real name when identifying themselves on a site.
Test the apps before letting the kid use them and look at the options available. This will determine, among other things, whether the game is appropriate for the age of the child. To help you choose from a variety of educational content for tablets, visit EduLulu, a Canadian site offering app evaluations by independent experts.
Choose apps that are free of ads. In infancy, a child does not have the bearings to clearly distinguish advertising. If he is too exposed, he is likely to make endless demands to his parents to get what he saw on the screen.
Keep the brightness of the device at 50%. At its maximum, it irritates the visual cortex and the frontal lobe. This can inter alia affect sleep.
3D: a danger for the sight?
The 3D technology could represent a risk to children under 6 years, according to the National Health Security Agency diet, environment, and labor of France. They may cause visual fatigue and other symptoms, such as headaches, backaches, loss of concentration or dizziness.
Explore the Internet with your child. Show them websites that are likely to interest them and show them how to navigate them. If you come across a site with questionable content, leave it immediately and explain to your child why you did so. He will understand that you want to help him recognize the information that is not appropriate for him.
Several websites offer attractive content and suitable for young children. Some sites even offer math, language, and arts activities that can help prepare your child for school. Add to your bookmarks your child’s favorite sites so they can easily return on their own.
Establish rules with your child to determine how much time he can spend browsing the Internet and which sites he is allowed to visit. By involving him in decision-making, you show him that you respect him. Moreover, if he does not respect the rules, you can remind him that you have established them by mutual agreement.
To manage the screen time
Impose a daily time limit.
Propose alternative activities. Encourage your child to do other activities when playing inside the house. Invite him to cook, listen to music and dance, prepare a puppet show, or create sculptures using materials from the recycling bin.
Do not expose your children to violent content and focus on educational content.
Unplug the screens and store them when they are not used. Out of sight, they are less tempting.
In the evening, make sure that the time of use of the screens is finished 2 hours before bedtime so that their exposure does not interfere with the children’s sleep.
Place screens in a busy area where users will be less absorbed and where it will be possible to easily count the time spent in front of the screens. Avoid installing screens in a child’s room.