Jamie Harrington, Homeside Financial March 2018

Wait — Screen Time Is Good for Kids? How a Balanced Media Diet Bolsters Child Development

If you Google the effects of screen time on children, you’re sure to be bombarded with horror stories. Numerous articles claim that, beginning in infancy, the more time a child spends in front of a TV, phone, or computer, the worse their developmental outcomes will be. At first glance, the research is utterly conclusive. It seems we should throw out every TV in our house, smash our kids’ smartphones, and usher our children into the great outdoors as soon as possible. But what most of these studies fail to take into account is the content of the electronic media. If a child spends two hours a day bingeing episodes of “The Big Bang Theory” or screaming obscenities into a headset while playing “Call of Duty,” it’s going to negatively impact their experience of the world along with their mental and physical health. But not all content is created equal. In the past, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended strict limits on electronic engagement for kids, following the old line of thinking that any kind of screen time would be better spent climbing a tree or running in

the backyard. But in October of 2016, they offered new recommendations for parents. For infants and young toddlers, the research still sides pretty heavily against the use of iPads and television. Before 18 months of age, a child lacks the cognitive capabilities allowing them to apply the lessons of technology to real

life, and even after that, the APP recommends that media consumption should be limited to “high-quality programming, such as the content offered by Sesame Workshop and PBS.” But for kids ages 5 and up, parents should avoid banning screen time outright, but function as their child’s media mentor. Instead of decrying time spent building complex structures in “Minecraft” as hours that could be spent on the

Homes for Heroes is something that I am so passionate about. Being able to help these wonderful, appreciative people, can be the highlight of my day. Homes for Heroes started shortly after 9/11 to provide an option to give back to public servants. They help the heroes of our nation save on the purchase of their home as a way of saying “thank you” for all they do. This service is open to military, law enforcement, firefighters, EMS, and teachers. Homes for Heroes is a savings program that allows us to discount expenses associated with a home purchase, sale, or refinance. By implementing this, we are able to bring public servants one step closer to their new front door. Many of these hardworking Americans serve and protect this country with diligence and passion, and we want to make sure nothing stands in their way of putting a roof over their head.

After being established in 2002, Homes for Heroes took off and was able to go through a multi-state expansion program beginning in 2005. This allowed public servants in need all over the country to have access to the necessary funds to own a home. In 2009, Homes for Heroes had been met with so much success over all these states that it went national. This program has since been graced with awards, served tens of thousands of heroes, and given back over $25 million. I was able to help Judy, a recent client, get a wonderful home through this program. As a busy working mother, she was extremely grateful for the efficient process and how quickly everything was done for her. Of course, she also liked the stacks of cash we were able to save her. Most importantly, she loves her new home, and I love that we were able to help her get it.

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jharrington@gohomeside.com

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