Finding the Balance between Screen Time and Playtime for Preschoolers

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Parents are overloaded with information from study after study on how to raise children.  This can be truly overwhelming.  While it seems simple from afar – you just want to raise kind, curious and self-confident kids. With the majority of children raised in families where both families work full time, there’s often bridge time with either babysitters or daycare before parenting time being.  Unfortunately, it often begins when parents are most fatigued.

If you’re fortunate enough to have used a Groupon coupon and hired a private sitter from Care.com, you can rest assured that your preschoolers are receiving quality care that’s actually stimulating.  Running outside, squishing clay and gluing noodles are all activities that stimulate a young child’s developing brain.  A quality caregiver can have your preschooler engage in these activities and avoid that mind numbing screen time. Researchers unanimously agree that boredom is key to the development of the young mind. Preschooler s do not need to be stimulated 24/7. Day dreaming and wandering are just as stimulating for the young mind as playing an Einstein keyboard. “What should I do now” is in itself a form of creativity. Children need to begin to make choices for themselves to grow and thrive.

There are plenty of settings when screen time is appropriate.  The key is to avoid a dependency on screen time for both parents and children. Children can develop an addition to screen time  – its passive stimulation. Parents can also develop an addiction to screen time – as a quiet parenting tool.  Avoid the temptation. Bad habits are hard to break.  Limit screen time to evenings and weekends. You’ll be amazed at how quickly children can find stimulation once the screen time habit is broken.  Paper and crayons can work wonders!  Enjoy this precious time with your preschoolers. These are the longest days and shortest years.