In a Ted Talk, Lisa Guernsey, author of Screen Time: How Electronic Media Affects Your Young Child, talked about how she was compelled to think of impact of screens on children right from the time her daughters were born. As babies, they just watched television, making Guernsey wonder if they at all understood what they were watching.
Talking about the impact of screens on kids, she said, “We adults think kids are seeing what we’re seeing, but it turns out that they need to first have a real store of background knowledge, they have to have gone through life to understand things the way that we adults understand them.”
Now, with the advent of newer forms of portable technology like smartphones or iPads, screen time has become more accessible to kids. Studies in the past have shown that children can learn from screens. “But what we need to be looking at is the content on the screen…Children specially in young ages are going to imitate what they see,” Guernsey emphasised.
While most experts talk about limiting screen time for kids, Guernsey said that the greater concern was to better manage the child-to-screen relationship.
The author said that when it comes to screen time, parents need to focus on three Cs– content, context, and the children themselves. The content should be such that children can learn positive things from it; context refers to how the child is interacting with the media, followed by parents interacting with kids to know their views and interests.
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