I found an article with an interesting twist on the warning of kids having too much TV and computer time. By now, it’s pretty well known that this excess can have various harmful effects on kids’ lives. And it’s interesting that most of the counteraction has been to promote physical activity. Even more interesting is to note that according to this article, just adding physical activity to excessive TV and computer time doesn’t make up for the negative effects.
Also, just having more physical activity didn’t necessarily result in overall higher psychological scores. In fact, the best overall psychological scores came from kids who were more sedentary. The article points to hyperactivity as one reason for lower psychological scores despite more physical activity.
Cut Down Hours In Front Of Screen First
The key factor here is to reduce the TV and computer time. Whether kids are more sedentary or more moderately active, screen time needs to be below two hours daily to be in a low-harm range.
My first question was about using the computer for homework. I know my oldest has had to occasionally spend more than two hours for a few days at a time to get an assignment done. I did recheck the article, and it specified recreational use.
Computer And TV Time Different For Parental Generation
I’m not sure what the outcome is for older kids who spend a fair amount of time on the computer doing things related to homework. Even when I was in college, my computer was at best a glorified typewriter. I didn’t do anything on it except every few months when I had a paper to type out.
Kids today are on the computer a whole lot more for lots of reasons than they ever have been. And that’s not even including the TV watching, Facebooking, and Twittering many kids engage in. As parents in the computer generation, we need to be aware of how much time our kids spend on computers for educational and recreational reasons, plus their time on TVs.
Just More Activity Not Enough
It’s not enough just to say “go outside and play” or “do your homework.” We really have to know what’s going on with their time. We need to teach our kids how to live with technology instead of living for it.