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January 2021 Monthly Issue - Wellness Newsletter

Screen time

Longer, colder days, fewer playdates, limited indoor play opportunities can all contribute to an increase in screen time for kids and youth. How much is too much and what can be done to introduce safe limits on the time and content? Let us look to the experts:

The Canadian Pediatric Society recommends:

  • For children under two years old, screen time is not recommended.
  • For children two to five years old, limit screen time to less than one hour a day.
  • For children older than five years old, limit screen time to less than two hours a day.
What is the potential risk of too much screen time?

Young children need eye contact to develop mirror neurons. Too much screen time affects brain development.

Long periods in front of a screen can increase the risk of an elevated body mass index with associated health risks.

Blue light from a screen "tricks" the brain into thinking its awake time and inhibits melatonin which signals sleep time.

Potential increase in AGRESSION - kids need to PLAY, not be ENTERTAINED!

How to set limits

Eat together at the table whenever possible with no other screens/phones on.
Model good screen management - let your kids see you put the phone down to focus on them.
Turn the TV off in the background.
Plan alternative activities or schedule "play time" where no screens are active.

What to do if I think we have a problem?

Call Discovery Youth and Family Substance Use Services 250 739-5790 Ext 54735
They can coach/advise parents even without the young person's participation.
Un-Stuck! Increased aggression and alarm in our children during COVID. What can we do?

During this particularly turbulent time of COVID, there are many emotions stirred up in our children. Alarm. Frustration. Worry. When emotions get stirred up, they will come out in the child's behaviour. We are seeing increasing aggression in kids as their frustration builds. Sometimes we can be at a loss for what to do.

Instead of asking kids to 'cut it out' or 'stop it' - it can be helpful if we can recognize that when emotions are stirred up, they need somewhere to go. Holding it in will only work for so long (think of having to go to the bathroom!), as eventually, these emotions will burst out. So instead of asking a child to hold it in, it is helpful if we can find healthy ways to help them to get out the frustration energy that is building inside of them.

This discussion will walk around the re-frame of understanding that behind the challenging behaviours we see; there is always an emotion and that emotion needs to go somewhere. We will chat about practical things we can do every day to help kids to find some release during this challenging time and how by preemptively channeling this emotional energy, we can lower aggression and the alarm a child might be experiencing.

Join award-winning educator, author and keynote speaker Hannah Beach on Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 6:30pm.

Perfect for parents and caregivers of children ages 4 to 19.

Credits:

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools