Navigating Screen Time During the Holidays: A Guide from Talking Brains Center in Dubai

As the holidays approach, families are gearing up for a season of joy, relaxation, and quality time spent together. At Talking Brains Center in Dubai, we understand the importance of striking a balance between holiday festivities and responsible screen use for children. In this blog post, we’ll delve into science-backed guidelines, dispel common myths, share alarming statistics, and shed light on the consequences of high screen exposure on children.

1. Dispelling Common Myths:

Myth 1: Videos Specifically Intended for Babies Boost Language Development.
Fact: Contrary to popular belief, studies show that videos targeted at babies, such as Baby Einstein®, do not necessarily enhance language development.

Myth 2: Digital Technologies in Infancy Enhance Child Development.
Fact: Using digital technologies in infancy doesn’t necessarily prepare a child for school. In fact, excessive screen time can have detrimental effects on various aspects of a child’s development.

Myth 3: Screens Calm Down Children.
Fact: While screens may provide a temporary distraction, they don’t teach children effective self-regulation. Relying on screens for calming may hinder the development of crucial emotional regulation skills.

Myth 4: Screens Improve a Child’s Eating Habits.
Fact: There is no substantial evidence supporting the idea that screens improve a child’s eating habits. In fact, mindful eating practices are essential for promoting healthy eating behaviors.


2. Eye-Opening Statistics:

  • 1/3 of children in FS1 (Foundation Stage 1) struggle with communication skills, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive approach to language development.
  • 90% of children with learning difficulties have been exposed to screens, highlighting a potential correlation between screen time and academic challenges.
  • Language development is affected six times more in children who watch screens, and three times more if accompanied by adults, emphasizing the importance of interactive, real-world communication.
  • 70% of parents use screens as an educational tool for kids aged 2-5 years old, and 74% use screens to prepare their children for school, showcasing the prevalent reliance on digital devices for early education.

Consequences of High Screen Exposure on Children:

  • Underdeveloped motor skills may result from a lack of physical activity associated with prolonged screen time.
  • Poor social skills can develop when children spend more time interacting with screens than with peers.
  • Lower cognitive abilities, particularly in short-term memory, language development, and learning, may be associated with excessive screen use.
  • Poor control of emotions and behavior, including aggressiveness, difficulty calming down, and passivity, can be consequences of high screen exposure.
  • Attention deficit, sleep problems, and various health issues, including excess weight, obesity, fatigue, headaches, myopia, poor posture, and poor diet, are linked to extended screen time.
  • Poor self-esteem may develop as a result of reduced real-world interactions and the potential negative impacts on physical and mental well-being.

As we approach the holidays, let’s be mindful of the myths surrounding screen time, consider the eye-opening statistics, and acknowledge the potential consequences of high screen exposure on children. At Talking Brains Center in Dubai, we advocate for a balanced approach that prioritizes real-world interactions, physical activity, and age-appropriate educational activities to foster healthy development and well-being in the digital age.