Screens are so commonplace in today’s society that we don’t give them much thought anymore, nor do we pay attention to how much they are being used. From watching television and working on laptops to playing games and scrolling through social media, we use our smart devices for hours on end. But is this a good thing? Is it good for our kids? It seems the days of playing in the backyard and riding bikes are long gone, but they don’t have to be, and they shouldn’t!
Studies have shown that kids spend more time looking at screens than any other activity during the day. (Up to 7 hours!) This screen time is attributed to multiple downsides such as weight gain, loss of focus, and lack of sleep. Screen time is clearly showing an effect on kids especially on their development and growth. For example, when it comes to verbal and communication development. It is crucial to have face-to-face interactions with your children as a vital part of them growing up. With a screen in the way, it blocks that communication. This works both ways as well! As a parent we owe it to our kids to put down our screens and make sure they are getting the interaction and attention they need and deserve.
One of the most important factors to consider is how screen time can affect sleep. Research suggests you not use screens at least one hour before bed, as it has been linked to interfering with getting a good night’s sleep. With so much development and learning a child goes through it is important that we set them up to grow to their fullest potential.
Even with the addition of apps to help limit screen time and monitor activity, limiting screen time can be a touchy situation. Kids don’t want to be told they can’t have their phone anymore. The best way to limit screen time is to set guidelines from the start. This will help kids better understand what the ground rules are and why they need to be followed. And as they get older, don’t be afraid to explain why you’re setting these boundaries.
The easiest (and most fun) way to limit screen time is to find activities to do with your kids! With summer just around the corner, now is the perfect time to turn off the TV, put the phone away, and enjoy the beautiful sunny outdoors. Need ideas for summer activities? Here are some great happenings around the city that you and your kids can enjoy all season long!
Nothing brings families together better than food so why not bring them to the biggest food festival of the year! This is a great opportunity to introduce your kids to cuisines they may not have tried before!
The Albright Knox gallery contains work by Pablo Picasso, Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, and many more! It is one of the oldest museums in the United States and offer classes, tours, and art activities!
Not only is this natural wonder an amazing sight to see, it is also right in our backyard! With the improvements to the surrounding parks and attractions Niagara Falls is a great opportunity to enjoy a nice walk, learn the history of the area, and experience the power of the falls.
The tradition of taking the kids to a ballgame is an American pastime. With games going on 3 times a week there are plenty of chances to take the little ones to the ballpark, get some peanuts and cracker jacks, and cheer for your Bisons at Sahlen Field! Also don’t forget to stay for the fireworks!
Hosting educational tours, field trips, and overnight stays, the Naval Park is a great chance for the kids to not only learn but experience history. Featuring two battleships and a submarine, there is plenty to learn and see!
Social media platforms have created a brand new challenge when it comes to bullying prevention. In my anti-bullying assembly “No Bully Zone,” I entertain and educate students to give them a clear understanding of what constitutes bullying behavior, how to prevent it on their part, and perhaps most importantly, options of what they can do if they see bullying behavior or encounter it directly themselves. Click here to learn more.