There are benefits to parents watching TV with younger children

With over 100 days into lockdown, and many kids around the country only going back to school in the next couple of weeks, most parents can attest to screen time levels having reached an all-time high.

Off the Richter some might say. “Lockdown has been tough on everyone, kids included. When parents reach the end of their tether, sometimes the easiest thing to do is to plonk the children in front of the television, while the parent keeps a semi-watchful eye from a distance. It’s often for the sanity of the both the parent and child.

However, while the common adage is that prolonged screen time is bad, new research has found that this may not be the case at all,” explains Jaco Joubert brand manager for high-end television company SKYWORTH.

In fact, according to the Child Mind Institute it’s becoming increasingly evident that if a parent is watching TV with their child, screen time may not be that bad.

As long as a parent is an active participant in the screen time, it can have a number of benefits. The way young children learn is driven by human interactions and experiences.

Technology, AKA screen time, can enhance this interactive experiential learning if there is parent participation.

Research has shown that when kids watch shows like PBS’s Peg + Cat (DStv channel 313), that teaches early maths skills, with a parent or caregiver, the child will retain significantly more than when they watch alone.

Plus, there are an enormous variety of educational apps, available on SKYWORTH Android TVs, parents and children can partake in together, without having to use an additional device.

With a SKYWORTH Android TV you have access to the entire Google Play Store. The TV’s operating system is upgradeable, including all the apps on the Google Play Store. This means you can keep up with the best in apps, games, and entertainment as and when they’re available in the country, without having to fork out on a new television. “Think of it as a TV with the same capabilities as your smartphone, just bigger, better and clearer,” says Joubert

Consuming media together provides a parent and child a shared language to communicate with when they’re not watching. Questions like ‘remember what Peg did the other day in that situation?’ and ‘why not try that?’ are ways a parent can bring screen time into their kids’ daily lives, making every day experiences more relatable for them. Parents should try and actively engage with their kids while watching a show and talk about what they’re seeing during and after screen time.

A concern many parents have when it comes to prolonged screen time is the effect of the harsh light emitted from the television screen. “SKYWORTH’s S9A OLED TV is easy on the eyes,” adds Joubert.

“The blue light emitted from screens can, over time, cause eye problems such as retinal injury, myopia and cataracts. However, OLED doesn’t need backlight, thereby minimising the harm of blue-light hazard and making it the best choice for your family, especially the little ones.

The eye protection mode of an ordinary LCD TV is at the expense of picture quality. The colour is too warm and yellow, but it can’t reduce all the harmful blue light effects.”

While we may not normally think of watching TV as ‘quality’ time, co-viewing, the term for parents watching TV with their kids, is an opportunity for parents to engage with what their child is interested in, to ask questions, to start a conversation, and to ultimately bond. Co-viewing from a relatively young age sets into motion the precedent that screen time is something special that kids and their parents share.

Travelstart Domestic

All articles written by a STAFF WRITER have been checked and verified to the best of our abilities. Should you have any queries or concerns, please don't hesitate to email them to info@after12mag.co.za

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