We see it everywhere – whether children are glued to handheld devices or tv, the amount of a child’s screen time has definitely gone up over the years!  Everywhere you turn there is an eight-year-old with a smart phone or a toddler with a tablet.  And while it is important to embrace the era we live in, when does technology become a crutch?  When is too much technology TOO much? Especially for smaller children?


Limiting Your Child’s Screen Time – What the Doctors Say?

I was perusing the internet when I came across this article from tech news world:


“In the past, we only had to be concerned about too much TV exposure. Now we have video games, computers and cell phones. It is overwhelming for young children and creates patterns of behaviors similar to addiction patterns,” said Mali Mann, M.D., adjunct clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at Stanford University’s School of Medicine.


“Their brains get used to too much auditory and visual stimulation — and in the absence of these stimulations, they do not know what to do with themselves,” she told TechNewsWorld. “They get anxious, restless, bored and aggressive.”


Let’s be honest, it’s easy to pull out your phone in a restaurant and give it to your restless toddler when the food is taking longer than normal – or when you are at a family function and you are catching up with loved ones you haven’t seen for a while.  The question is this:  are we escaping parenthood for convenience?


While some sources say any child under the age of two should have zero screen time, including having the television on for background noise, I am a firm believer in finding a happy medium:  if we live in the technology age, let’s embrace it WITHOUT it becoming a crutch.  Instead of escaping our parenting responsibilities by handing our toddlers tablets so we can get some peace and quiet, let’s embrace being with our children instead!


There are many educational apps which have helped children grasp maths, English, other languages, colours, morals and much more.  Many schools, such as little Human Scholars preschool, playschool and kindergarten in PJ are even integrating technology within lesson plans.  The difference with Little Human Scholars is they limit the amount of classroom activity with technology AND it is also supervised so that the children aren’t being over-stimulated via too much screen time.  Much of the time allotted during school sessions is allocated to social, physical and mental stimuli without the use of technology.  So how DO we find a happy medium on a day-to-day basis OUTSIDE of school?


How to Limit A Child’s Screen Time

While there are several things we can do to limit a child’s screen time, keep in mind that it all starts with the parents and the care givers!


  1. Use parental controls. If your child is going to be on the internet, a smart phone or tablet, make sure they are monitored.  There are browsers you can install which keep your child safe from websites that are pornographic or racist in nature.


  1. As a parent, you must be able to disconnect yourself and spend some time AWAY from the television, laptop, tablet and phone.  Whatever you do your children will mimick your behaviour.  If you set aside time to spend with family, friends and loved ones daily, your children will experience you doing this, and they will do the same.


  1. Spending a significant part of the day in front of a screen can lead to obesity, poor concentration and limited physical activity. A 2014 study by UCLA’s Children’s Digital Media Center suggests that when screen time limits face-to-face interaction, kids’ social skills may be negatively affected, and this may blind them from understanding the emotions of other people.


  1. Make play and physical activities an important daily ritual. Children learn through playand it is crucial for their development.  It helps them develop fine motor skills, problem-solving skills all while burning some of that excess energy children tend to have.  If they are stuck on a screen all day, they don’t get the chance to hone these skills.


  1. Limit activity to two hours per day for children – this includes television, video games and apps on smart phones and tablets. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) do not recommend screen time for kids younger than 2.


All-in-all, I am a firm believer in embracing this technology age, but I also believe doing things in moderation.  Our children have opportunities and technology we, as parents, did not have when we were growing up.  Luckily for those in the Petaling Jaya area, there are schools which implement and integrate technology moderately within their lesson plans while providing ample time for children to learn through play.


About Little Human Scholars School in PJ

Little Human Scholars is an all-in-one childcare solution.  It is a preschool, playschool, kindergarten, nursery and full-day daycare centre (with extended hours) located in the heart of PJ.


In fact, the location is one of the things which makes Little Human Scholars so sought after – it is conveniently nestled near Jalan Gasing, University hospital, PJ Old town, PJ New town, Jaya One, Jaya33, and the PJ IT Mall.


The best part is LHS has premiere services many other schools in PJ don’t offer such as full-day daycare with extended hours, CCTV access for parents, and a nifty little phone app called Toddlytic which provides parents with automatic updates on their child’s development, behaviour and health checks.


With full-time guards always present at each of their locations, access to CCTV (which is in every room except the office, bathroom and kitchen areas), and very strict pick-up and drop-off rules, Little Human Scholars treats every child who walks into its hallways as one of their own children!


This place has it all:  location, safety, health, IGSCE curriculum and play-based learning.  What more could you ask for?  Did I mention they also have transportation services and offer meal plans for students?  It doesn’t get any better than that.


If you are interested in a tour of one of our centres (that’s right, there’s more than one), all you need to do is fill out the form here or call +6017-7303-025 and an LHS administrative staff will get back with you shortly!



Jana Moreno