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Alternatives to screens for boys and girls

Friday, 04 November 2022
One of the issues that most concerns parents today is the exposure of their sons and daughters to screens. There is a fact that is clear and for which there is no debate: until the baby is two years old, he should not be exposed to screens since it can have risks in his development.
One of the issues that most concerns parents today is the exposure of their sons and daughters to screens. There is a fact that is clear and for which there is no debate: until the baby is two years old, he should not be exposed to screens since it can have risks in his development.

And this has a scientific explanation: it is important that the frontal lobe of the brain, which is the area responsible for decoding everything related to social interactions, develops correctly. And this development occurs during the first years of life, depending directly on the interaction with real and not virtual people.

But… what happens after this age? What recommendations are there in relation to children between 2 and 6 years old ? The neuropsychologist Álvaro Bilbao , author of the book The child's brain explained to parents, states that children of these ages should not have contact with technological devices. Not so much to get away from a sedentary lifestyle and obesity, but for psychological, physiological and developmental reasons that will inevitably end up affecting their behavior.

How much time should boys and girls be in front of a screen depending on their age?

The AAP, American Academy of Pediatrics, has created guidelines with the average daily time in front of the screens that a minor should spend (at most) in front of the screen.
  • Up to two years: Screen zero.
  • Between 2 and 5 years: Between half an hour and one hour a day.
  • From 6 to 12 years old: One hour with an adult in front and never during meal times.
  • From 12 to 15 years old: An hour and a half daily and taking special care with the consumption of social networks.
  • Children over 16: Two hours a day at most, avoiding screens in their bedroom.

Marta Prada , writer and creator of the education and parenting blog Pequefelicidad, is clear: educating without screens is not only a challenge for families, but also a social responsibility.

Alternatives to screens

Guardians, fathers and mothers have the responsibility, not only to limit the use of screens, but to offer alternatives.

Where to start?

Keeping temptation away: On many occasions it is inevitable that there are screens in homes, but ideally they should not be visible and within the reach of minors. Instead, the boy and girl should have access to interesting game options of different types.

Leading by example: "Because you educate yourself when you're not educating yourself." I mean, always. If the adult reduces their time using electronic devices, it will be easier, and above all less contradictory, to ask them to do so too.

What if we reach an agreement? If minors see that they are part of the negotiation, they will feel valued and know that they are taken into account. For a pleasant coexistence it is essential not only to reach agreements but also to fulfill them.

Being present: If the minor feels accompanied and has a figure who directs the game and offers alternatives, it will be easier for him not to fall into boredom and to enjoy his leisure time.

Often, the dizzying pace of day to day is incompatible with taking quality time to be present and share hours and hours of play. However, there are recommendations that will surely help this challenge:
  • Any time is a good time to find quality time. Before going to school, during the night routine, when traveling somewhere… All these moments are a good option to waste good energy away from the screens.
  • Establish a time each day to play with the little ones in the house. Turn this moment into a routine that must be scheduled and that has to be as important, or more, than the rest of the day's obligations.
  • Be with the 5 senses. With awareness. Any place and time is good to meet your children. In this way, it will be easier to detect what they are interested in and passionate about, and then "guide" their leisure hours towards those topics.
Nature, our ally vs screens: Although it is difficult to spend time outdoors and surrounded by nature on a daily basis, it is important for families to plan getaways to spend quality time with the little ones, away from noise and rhythm unrestrained from the daily routine.

A weekend getaway is something that all members of the family will appreciate, and especially the little ones. At the El Jou Nature hotel, for example, there are no televisions in the rooms, so that disconnection is maximum and so that the focus is on what is really important. The environment, the privileged location and the facilities are designed to create family experiences and be shared with other families and groups.

Contact us without obligation and we will inform you of the multitude of activities and options to do in our hotel; to disconnect from day to day, from screens and to connect with the values that really matter.
  • maximum exposure time in front of the screens
    maximum exposure time in front of the screens
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