5 Ways Screen Time Can Actually Be Good for Your Kid

kid ipadWhen it comes to the amount of time your kids spend in front of the TV (or on the computer, or using an iPad or smartphone), you probably try to keep it to a minimum. After all, studies have linked too much screen time to everything from childhood obesity to difficulties reading human emotions. But don't panic if you can't cut out screen time altogether: There are a few ways it can actually be good for kids.


Of course, we're not saying that parking your son or daughter in front of the TV for hours on end is ever a good idea, but there are ways to transform a potentially negative screen obsession into something positive. That's because when it comes down to it, it's not the fact that your kid is tuning in that's the issue -- it's what they're tuning into, and for how long. Here are some of potential benefits of screen time (for real!).

1. Believe it or not, kids can actually learn real skills from watching videos: One study found that 90 percent of 24-month-old children and 65 percent of 14-month-old children were able to copy the actions of an adult taking a toy apart after watching a 20-second video. (Are there instructional videos on how to clean your room online?)

2. Research has found that iPads in school helped to make kids "more cooperative" and encouraged quieter kids to "speak up," possibly because of the immediate feedback provided by the tablets.

More from CafeMom: I Made My Daughter Go 'Screen-Free' & It Drove Our Family Apart

3. Screens really can make learning more fun: A survey of over 1,000 parents with kids between the ages of 3 and 5 and their teachers found that all of the children liked reading better when they looked at stories using books and a touchscreen, as opposed to just books.

4. Screen time can actually be active time, provided you choose the right video game, like one that requires you to use more body parts than your thumbs. There are plenty of games out there that serve as serious workouts (Dance Dance Revolution, anyone?).

5. When family and friends live far away, video calls and chats help kids to stay in touch with loved ones. It's a lot easier (and more fun) to bond with Grandma when you can actually see her face! 


Image via Brad Flickinger/Flickr

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