In the 1700’s, Benjamin Franklin said there were only two things certain in life: death and taxes. Today, he might well add a third certainty – screen time. Screen time often conjures up negative connotations. Undoubtedly, there is some justification for that, but telling kids to “just say no” in an attempt to steer clear of undesirable or harmful effects is as ineffective as it is ill-advised. With safe and responsible use, screen time can be practical, constructive, enjoyable and even imperative to living well.
Love it, hate it or somewhere in between, technology is part of our modern day landscape and if we want our children to live well and thrive in this world, then we need to ensure they are competent and confident to not only navigate the internet, but are able to harness and use its “powers” to their advantage. Champion Life is built on this very premise.
In addition to positive health and wellbeing messages about physical activity, nutrition, sleep, mental health, safety, alcohol & drugs and relationships, Champion Life delivers explicit information about safe and responsible use of devices and offers an unparalleled opportunity to engage in positive screen time.
Screen time concerns such as cyberbullying, poor sleep patterns, poor mental health effects, eye and neck strain, inappropriate material, and sedentary/addictive behaviours are tackled head on in age-appropriate learning experiences. Preventive and early intervention strategies are modelled by inspiring Role Models and embedded in the Challenges, Body Sets and Reward Tips.
Champion Life also directs and encourages children to use devices for the betterment of their own and others’ health and wellbeing eg. Develop their physical literacy/empathy/creativity/problem-solving skills/experience of diversity, extend their social network, advocate healthy choices in their community. Furthermore, all elements of the Champion Life program are designed to engage children for discrete amounts of time to model balanced screen time habits.
The Little People Big Lives Report (produced by the University of Notre Dame’s School of Medicine) stated that
“Technology and social media, used responsibly, can enrich one’s life, however, they are powerful tools that need to be used with discretion... Positive screen time is essentially about quality and quantity control.”
To assist adults caring for children, they advocate these key screen time strategies:
- Have clear rules for screen times
- Plan offline activities to ensure balance
- Use devices in a shared or visible space
- Previewing, referring to guidelines, ratings and reviews is recommended
- Role modelling a good example of own screen time
Kids do love their screen time but need to understand and experience how to manage its impact on their health and wellbeing and engage in positive screen time. Champion Life is here to help you help them do just that!