How to tear your kids away from their screens

How to tear your kids away from their screens

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The presence of technology in the average human's life is growing fast, especially for kids. iPads and computers have become almost imperative as a learning tool in schools across the country.  But, how much technology is too much?  What are activities you can do with your children without a screen?

Coastal Carolina University professor of education Dr. Nancy Ratcliff says to limit your child's tech use to no more than two hours a day.  The relationship of technology and the child is a balance, and parents can decide on how strong that relationship is.

The Huffington Post reports ADHD, autism, depression, sleep disorders and anxiety are just some of the outcomes of too much screen-time.  Kids need to develop their senses with people, connections, and movement more than they need time in front of a screen.

Dr. Ratcliff suggests parents take their kids on a walk outside, go to the park, or engage in creative activities inside the home if you're looking for more active things to do.  She says when you do spend time with your child, ask them open-ended questions.  For example, if you're on a walk and see a butterfly, ask "Where do you think the butterfly lives?"  Or ask questions along the lines of "Why do you think the trees bloom?"  This activates the child's critical thinking process.

Another uncommon activity is to create maps.  Ask your child to create a map of their bedroom or backyard.

When it comes to the amount of homework your child has, Coastal Carolina University professor of elementary education professor Dr. Cathy Scott says 10 minutes per grade level is ideal.  For example, your second grader should have around 20 minutes of homework a night.

Dr. Scott says to have a good relationship with your child's teacher.  If your child's homework becomes an overwhelming burden, communication with the teacher is the key to solving the problem.  A plan can be put in place for your child to help him or her succeed in and out of the classroom.

One interesting tip Dr. Scott shared was when you read non-fiction books to your child, pick books one or two reading levels below their own.  You can find the reading level of a book on the back or look-up the 'Lexlile' of that book online.

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