There’s an impending sense of dread in the air… winter school holidays are around the corner! And, if the weather the past few weeks is anything to go by, then we’re in for a month of inside activities for the kids, namely, screen time.
Screen time has always been a contentious topic. How much is too much? How young is too young for screen time? And should there be limits?
“By the time kids reach their teens, parents may feel less in control of screen time. Add to that a pandemic that forced children to learn and socialise by screen and it can all be very overwhelming,” explains Jaco Joubert, brand manager for high-end television brand SKYWORTH.
Not all screen time is the same. Teens are more independent, but it’s still up to parents to decide how, and how often, they use screens. Teens may need to spend more time online doing homework, but they may also spend a lot of time on social media, playing games, or watching TV and YouTube videos.
“However, with many of us still working from home, and winter approaching, meaning more time will be spent indoors, screen time isn’t going anywhere – in fact we rely on our televisions for entertainment,” Joubert adds.
It’s with this in mind that SKYWORTH has introduced Flicker Free Technology to their televisions. Flicker Free protects the eye from harmful blue light that’s emitted from screens, including televisions. Using a continuous dimming DC backlight source, the brightness of the backlight can be adjusted, meaning the screen has no flicker allowing for healthier TV watching.
Tips for limiting screen time
Joubert shares some other tips to help limit your teen’s screen time:
Encourage teens to be involved in a variety of screen-free activities, like spending time with friends, reading (an actual book), and exercising – Your teen should ideally be physically active every day and get enough sleep.
Turn off all screens during meals and at least one hour before bedtime – Keep devices with screens out of your teen’s bedroom after bedtime, this will help your teen get enough sleep.
Research the video and computer games your teen wants to watch and play – Look at the ratings, which can run from EC (meaning ‘early childhood’) to AO (meaning ‘adults only’). Teens should probably be limited to games rated T (for ‘teens’) or younger. If possible, preview games and even play them with your teen to see what they’re like. The game’s rating may not match what you feel is acceptable.
Spend time together with your teen watching TV, playing games, or going online – Use this time as an opportunity to chat and learn something new together.
Keep the computer in a common area where you can keep an eye on what’s going on – Teach your teen about safe Internet and social media use and make sure they know the dangers of sharing private information online and cyberbullying.
Set a good example – Turn off TVs and other screens when they’re not being used. Don’t leave screens on in the background. Turn off or mute your phone when you’re not using it and during family times, like meals.