Grandparents Should Restrict Screen Time of Children Entrusted to Their Care
A new research conducted by
Nelly Elias and Galit Nimrod of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev has found
that children sent to grand-parents home end up spending more time on mobile,
tablet, computer or TV.
The researchers said that despite children spending more time on IPad/tablet and TV, grandparents can't be blamed. Taking care of energetic grandchildren is a demanding job. The study was conducted among 2 to 7 year old who take care of the children atleast once a week. On an average four-hour visit to their grandparents house, it was found that children spent two hours either watching videos or playing.
Among the findings:
-Many grandparents feel less
confident in managing children's use of interactive media, such as games, than
in managing their use of non-interactive videos. This may be due to lack of
experience with games or apps.
-Some children's parents give the grandparents instructions about how to handle media use. This, ironically, leads to more screen time viewing.
-Grandfathers in the study allowed more interactive screen time than did grandmothers, perhaps because they are more comfortable with the technology.
-On average, grandparents had more difficulty in managing the media use of boys and older children than of girls and younger children. Boys on average spent 17 minutes more than girls with media related activities.
-Grandparents allow more screen time when they care for children in their own homes versus the children's homes. They also allow more screen time when the child brings a tablet or other device from home, as 22 percent of grandchildren do.
-The lowest amount of time dedicated to media use per visit with grandparents was found among children aged 2 to 3, at an average of 98 minutes per visit. Children aged 4 to 5 spent an average of 106 minutes with electronic devices, and children aged 6 to 7 had 143 minutes of screen time, on average per visit.
The study offers the following recommendations:
-Grandparents who set strict rules (such as not more than an hour; not before bedtime; not during meals) succeed in reducing their grandchildren's screen time.
-Parents should supply toys, games and books to help grandparents keep children busy.