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What Screen Time Kills

In the digital age, screens have become a ubiquitous presence in our homes, silently shaping the landscape of childhood development. A recent study by Kindred Squared sheds light on a pressing issue: the impact of excessive screen time on children's readiness for school. 

The report, drawing from surveys and focus groups with over a thousand teachers and parents, reveals a growing concern among educators. Teachers report a significant number of children entering school lacking essential social, emotional, and cognitive skills – skills that are foundational for learning and development in the early years. 

Children engrossed in screens are missing out on critical interactions that teach them to listen, share, and communicate effectively. This lack of readiness not only hampers the individual child's learning but also affects the entire classroom dynamic, requiring teachers to divert precious instructional time to address basic developmental needs. 

This trend towards digital babysitting, as highlighted by the research, invites us to reflect on the broader implications of our screen time choices, particularly through the lens of wisdom shared across time.

The report echoes a sentiment that has been voiced by educators and psychologists alike, underscoring a pivotal concern in modern parenting. One educator in the study lamented, 

Over the last 20 years... we’ve noticed a change in the children - the children at entry points from when they come into Reception are not as school ready as they were when I first started.

–Anonymous Teacher | Kindred Squared 2023 Study

The study goes on to explain that one of the main factors is screen time. This observation isn't just a call for educational reform; it's a clarion call to parents and society to reassess the role of technology in our lives and in the lives of our children.

Download our free family activity sheet at the end of this blog post!

As Christian parents, we must think about how we are using screens, both with our children and with our own eyes. 

"I will set no wicked thing before my eyes..."  

Psalm 101:3

In the context of our digital habits, this passage invites a profound reflection on what we consider "wicked." While most content children consume may not be explicit, substituting screens for human interaction can be seen as a form of negligence, a deviation from diligent parenting, and outright laziness. It challenges parents to consider not only what their children are exposed to but also what they are being deprived of in the exchange.

The essence of raising children, as inferred from Psalm 101:3 and the findings of the Kindred Squared report, transcends the mere avoidance of harmful content. It encompasses the active engagement in their growth and development. Screen time, both for children and parents, emerges not just as a potential conduit for "wickedness" but as a barrier to fulfilling our God-given role as nurturers of the next generation. Laziness in parenting, whether through allowing unchecked screen time or prioritizing our digital consumption over interaction with our children, can be seen as a sin of omission.

True parenting requires "face time" in the most literal sense – time spent face-to-face, engaging in conversation, play, and shared experiences that screens cannot replicate. This real, undivided attention lays the groundwork for children to develop the social, emotional, and cognitive skills they need to thrive, both in school and in life.

Let us then embrace the rewarding work of raising our children with intention and presence, setting aside our screens to cultivate God’s young beloved children that have been entrusted to us for such a short time.

Download A Free Family Activity Sheet.

Download our free family activity sheet to help you reduce screen time in your home that will help you choose face time over screen time.

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