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Television, computers, tablets and phones are all windows to the wider world for young children.
They see all sorts of things that influence their development in good and bad ways, so it’s important we know what they’re watching.
Babies and toddlers
The first two years are important for brain development. Babies learn and grow best by talking and playing with real people, not screen people. Using TV for companionship, distraction or to promote sleep can become a habit in later life.
Screen images start to become more interesting to children at this age. However, lifetime habits are formed in the kindy years. Children under six have difficulty understanding the difference between fantasy and reality.
Children aged six to nine years still have some difficulty understanding the difference between fantasy and reality, especially if it looks like real life. They can believe that TV situations depict real families or real places. They tend to admire and want to be like their TV hero or heroine.
Don’t forget screen time covers everything from TVs and computers to a mobile phone.
Some tips for parents on managing screen time.
What not to watch:
When choosing screen material for your baby or toddler, avoid:
When choosing screen material for your kindy-aged child, avoid:
When choosing screen material for your school-aged child, avoid:
Children who develop healthy screen time habits are likely to continue the same way when they are older.
Young children, especially toddlers, will enjoy programs and DVDs more if you sit down and watch with them. Talk with your child about what they are seeing:
It’s good have other things to entertain and stimulate your child: