Parenting tip: Tots and tech

Children and Technology

The world is so full of electronics these days that as many as 40% of 2-4 year old children use electronics daily, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.  Before you go running to take away the electronics from your toddler, consider this: not all of these media devices are bad.  It is important to note that no matter the quality of the media, without parental interaction, the media wont have much learning value. While there is no rock solid evidence showing the exact learning value that these media devices and electronics have on our children, there are some tips to help you get the most out of it.

Monitor content

This means that you should carefully select which types of media your toddler uses.  It also means that you should be interacting with them while they are using it, helping them to connect it to other things that they see/ do on a daily basis.  This will help them to remember what they are learning as well as create lasting connections with real world items or actions.

Set limits

Use your parental instincts and your best judgement to decide how much time your child spends on the media devices. You should also be monitoring them for any signs that the device is taking precedence over outdoor play or socializing. It is important as a parent to encourage outdoor play, exercise, and communicating with others. Too much of these media devices can stunt your child’s physical and social development.

Be the role model

Remember that your are the role model of your child.  If they see you using your electronic devices during every hour of the day, they will naturally assume that it is alright for them to do so as well.  Try to maintain a balance that shows them the value of the devices as well as the value of real social and physical interaction.

 

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Health Tip: Sleep Study

How much sleep do you need?

Children, teens, and adults alike are plagued with the question: How much sleep do I really need?

We all know the importance of sleep.  It lays the foundation of your mood and attentiveness for the day.  Students need the proper amount of sleep to do well on tests or perform their best for sports.  The health risks sleep deprivation are, as quoted from WebMD, ” high blood pressure, inflammation, weight gain, and diseases associated with these risk factors, such as diabetes and heart disease.” But the question still remains: What is the right amount of sleep for me?

This is a topic of hot debate in the health field, but it boils down to your own personal needs as an individual.

How much sleep do you really need?

The sleep foundation set these guidelines for sleep

Using the chart as a reference point, you can determine the estimated amount of sleep you need per night.  Of course, your individual lifestyle will determine whether you need more sleep or less of it.  Try sleeping for different amounts in-and-around the guideline for your age group for your personalized sleep amount.

However, if you feel that you have a sleep problem, talk to your doctor, who may refer you to a specialist.  You may be suffering from a sleeping disorder.