Disconnect to Reconnect
We know that screens and technology are a part of our everyday life and in many ways they have added greatly to our quality of life. We have a world of knowledge at our fingertips and we can communicate with someone across the world. However experts are concerned that too much screen time can get in the way of physical activity and/or true emotional interactions with others.
Some shocking facts:
- On any given day, 29% of babies under the age of 2 years are watching TV and videos for an average of about 90 minutes
- Children aged 8-18 spend an average of 7 hours a day in front of a screen, with almost five of those hours “plugged in” to a television, computer or video game for entertainment or recreation
- On average adults check their cell phone 110 times per day
Our brains are wired for face-to-face social contact. Children need real life “facetime”.
It is time to “RECLAIM” and take back that part of our lives.
R – elationships
“The way in which two or more people are connected”
Healthy family relationships help all members of a family feel safe and connected to one another. When children receive love and support in a warm family environment, they are better able to take on the childhood tasks of exploring their world and learning new skills.
They also learn from the family environment how to connect to other people and build healthy relationships.
Screens may provide entertainment or a basic lesson, however they cannot substitute real social and emotional connections
E – xercise
“An activity requiring physical effort”
Screen time keeps children seated for long stretches of time, which means it stops them from getting the physical activity they need. Children are not born with the habit to sit and watch screens; this is something they learn to do by watching and listening to others.
Children need to be active every day to promote healthy growth and development.
Kids who establish healthy lifestyle patterns at a young age will carry them –and their benefits – forward for the rest of their lives.
C – ommunication
“The successful sharing of ideas and feelings”
From the time they are born, children start communicating. Very early in their lives, they learn to understand what you are saying and to make sounds of their own. They are beginning to develop speech and language skills that will help them make friends and learn to read, and later, to succeed at school and on into their teen and adulthood years.
Screen time provides one way communication, reducing the opportunities for the children to communicate and interact face-to-face with other people.
L – imits
“A restriction on the amount of something that is allowable”
Children are exposed to more screens than ever before, including televisions, computers, gaming consoles, smartphones and tablets.
When thinking about how much time your child spends with screens, be sure to include all these different devices. Also include time spent viewing at home and in other places, like child care and school.
It isn’t just about the “how much”, but also about the “where”. Create screen free times such as no screens during meals, and no screen use before bed
Research shows that almost a third of Canadian children and teenagers aren’t getting enough sleep each night. Reserve the bedroom for sleeping only – keep cell phones, computers, televisions and video games out of the bedroom.
A – ttachment
I – nterests
M – odel