In a time when the use of screens in childhood is now trivialized and without mediation, now it is abhorred and taboo in school conversation, finding balance is a daily challenge. But, after all, what do experts and researchers say? What are the guidelines for international child protection agencies?

What the World Health Organization says

The latest guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) , 2016, says that until the first year of life, babies should not be exposed to screens. From 2 to 4 years old, they can use up to 1 hour of screens, with selected and educational content. From the age of 5, the use of screens can be up to 2 hours a day, always in view of cured content , without the child being exposed to inappropriate content or advertisements.

With the measure, the WHO guidance aimed, above all, to combat childhood obesity and a sedentary lifestyle that affect 40 million children worldwide. These data come to show that what matters most when it comes to using screens in childhood is:

How is off-screen time being used?

According to the website of the United Nations ( UN ): “ Children from one to four years old should be active for at least 180 minutes throughout the day , says the WHO, citing walking, crawling, running, jumping, balancing, climbing, dancing, riding toys on wheels, riding a bicycle and jumping rope as suitable pastimes. ” That is, the central question is: How do we use technology and how do we teach our children to use it?

10 tips for healthy screen use in childhood

So, how to enjoy the best of technology, while actively balancing free time and diverse activities? And how to make the little ones comply with the limit on the use of daily screens? We prepared 10 tips, check it out!

CombinedMake combined with your little one making it very clear how many episodes of your favorite cartoon he will be able to watch. Children still can’t quite understand the passage of time, so the amount of episodes can make the deal much clearer to their understanding.

Be firm

Once the agreement is established, stick to it. If you want to give in, make another deal, but be sure to stick to it. Children need (and ask for) clear boundaries to understand what they can and cannot do.

Negotiate

How about watching an episode (or a time) and then playing something different, that requires some body movement? If you live in an apartment, it is worth a walk outdoors, a dance or mime game, for example.

Set an example

The combinations are great, but for them to work the child needs to realize that you also don’t value the screens as much as she does. While together, prioritize activities that involve affective presence. Many times it will be necessary to wait for the children to sleep to watch that series that they love so much, but it will be worth it.

Less passivity

Give preference to content that instigates the child’s participation and yours, such as songs . Also, while the child watches something or plays a game, talk to them and ask how the video / game is doing, what it is about. After watching the content, talk about it. In this way, you will be helping your child to build critical thinking about everything that comes to him, building his own filters and critical sense.

Mediation is essential

Differentiating what is lived in the digital experience from interpersonal experiences and between make-believe and reality requires maturity of the cognitive system. This will only happen after early childhood. Until then, it is very important that they have other people around to talk about what the child is watching, mediating its use.

It is necessary to observe

If the child is very quiet or irritated, the behavior has changed abruptly, their school performance has fallen , sleep is impaired or even their little one shows signs of depression and anxiety , especially if prevented from using the screens, this is a warning sign that needs attention and more effective forms of control or even the search for professionals.

Attention to content

Keeping up to date on technological news and, above all, always being on top of what your child watches and does on the networks is essential to ensure your safety and have control over what you want to allow or deny access to. As much as that little game or video seems boring to you, you need to be really attentive and aware of what it provides to your child. To reduce the risks, always give preference to cured content .

Dialogue, always

Explain to your child, always and with a language accessible to their level of development, about the limits and possibilities of using the screens. Explain why to allow or deny access.

Varied activities

Nothing replaces eye to eye, a moment of skin-to-skin contact with your child. As well as physical activities , games and hours of sleep. All of this is part of the “package” that enables the healthy growth and development of children.