In the past year, parents have started to think more positively about the effect of media on their young children. In addition, parents more often consider media to be a suitable activity for their children during the corona period. Especially if they themselves are busy with (home) work, a screen can offer a solution.
This is evident from the annual Iene Miene Media survey commissioned by the Network Media Literacy that was published on Friday. One thousand parents of children between the ages of zero and six were surveyed about their children’s media use. Seven in ten parents surveyed indicate that media use changed over the past year due to the corona crisis. In addition, a quarter of parents find it more difficult at this time to limit the screen time of their children.
Although the past year had a significant impact on media use and screen time in the first lockdown increased by nearly an hour, parents are more positive about the influence of media on their children’s language development and math skills. This involves, for example, learning concepts, the English language and developing patience.
“In previous years, this development was not so explicitly apparent from the research,” says researcher Peter Nikken, professor of Youth and Media at Windesheim University of Applied Sciences. Incidentally, he does make a comment on the results: “It may be that parents want to justify in this way that children spend more time behind a screen during this period.”
“I especially inform parents that it is important what children watch. Klokhuis or Spongebob has completely different effects. ”
Peter Nikken, professor of Youth and Media
Difference between Apple core in Spongebob
Nevertheless, Nikken endorses the beneficial effect of media on children’s development, provided screens are used in moderation. “The World Health Organization and paediatricians are very strict in their advice. Up to two years, screens should not be an issue for children at all, up to five years a maximum of one hour per day. In practice, we see that everyone is above that. I give parents especially the fact that it is important what children watch. Apple core of Spongebob has very different effects, “said the researcher.
“Previous studies show that Sesame Street for example, it still contributes to the development of children years later: they think less stereotypically and do better at school. ”
Nikken argues that – however educational media may be – there should also be enough time to play outside and do other things, including to prevent nearsightedness and obesity. “For example, by scrambling in trees, children develop spatial insight and that helps later with calculations.” Parents indicate during the study period – January 2021 – that their children watch programs on YouTube (Kids) and on television for an average of 24 and 25 minutes.
More media especially during the day
The increase in media use among children is mainly during the day. Screen use has increased, particularly at lunchtime: from 39 percent to 50 percent. Then children often watch alone, without the guidance of parents.
“It is an easy way to keep the children occupied for a while when parents do not have the time themselves. At the same time, we know that the positive effects that parents attribute to children mainly occur when children watch together with their parents. Parents can help explain things. and it makes children more focused, ”said Nikken, who advises parents to work with their children.
Children looked at a screen more often in the first lockdown than in the second lockdown. Media use only increased for a few minutes in January compared to the time before the corona crisis. In the first lockdown it was almost an hour. Nikken: “Parents have found a new balance and can develop other activities for their children.” Children mainly use television and tablets for their media use. Three out of ten children also have a device in the bedroom.
Source site www.nu.nl