unplug & connect to people

Screen Time Can Include:
• Watching television
• Being on a computer
• Tablet or smart phone
• Playing video game

Why Unplug & Connect To People
The brain is very dependent on human social interaction and excessive screen time decreases important face-to-face communication skills development.

One of the first skills of emotional competence is the ability to recognize emotions in others. On-going research suggests that electronic media can distort a child’s perception of emotional problems as trivial.

In a recent European study, parents reported that for each additional hour or so of screen time a child's risk of emotional and family problems rose up to two-fold.

Benefits To Connecting To People
• It improves a child’s social skills. Being sociable helps a child with resilience (the ability to withstand hard times)
• It helps a child learn to manage strong feelings such as anger and show empathy for others
• It helps a child solve relationship conflicts and make decision
• It helps school-age children gain a sense of self by finding people they want to be
like (these are sometimes known as role models). They look to older relatives, family friends, teachers and peers

Become A ‘Screen Smart’ Family
• Balance ‘screen time’ with ‘real time’. Choose activities that encourage connecting with people
• Ideas to connect with people:

  1. Find ways to play with your child that you both enjoy every day. Talk with your child, tell stories, sing, and make rhymes together. It is especially important to try and connect with your child
  2. Seek ways for your child to play with other children of the same age
  3. Make time for a routine that includes regular family meals when parents and children can sit and talk about their day together. Play the “high-low” game by taking turns sharing the best and not-so-good parts of the day

For copies of this poster, please contact admin@tricitiesmcm.ca.