Today, technology has been evolving and is becoming easier to use that even children at a very young age will have no problem navigating it. There are also apps and other entertainment things that can be deemed as fun or educational, but what we don’t know is that this can be addicting too. Something too much (hours upon hours watching TV, playing video games, and using tablet devices) is a bad thing for our mental health, according to a psychologist.
Though we think that we are helping our children grow and develop using these apps, but it hinders our child’s development. This article will help us understand more about how technology could ruin our children’s development.
They Do Not Have Enough Exercise.
Children today would choose to be in front of the screen all day, watching videos or playing games. This makes them stagnant, and they don’t have the proper exercise to burn their energy. This can cause them to become overweight, and they are more prone to sickness. “Prolonged screen usage can impact a child’s executive functioning. This occurs in the developing prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for focus, attention, concentration, organization, etc.” Jyothsna Bhat, PsyD also added.
They Are Not Spending Enough Time Outdoors.
We all know it is healthy for us to spend some time outdoors, soaking under the sun, and feeling the fresh air. This is nature’s way of therapy and can help significantly with healing both our minds and bodies. Our children need this too, but they don’t have the energy and the motivation to go out and play because they are always on their phones or gadgets. “Whether you suffer from seasonal affective disorder or not, the evidence is strong that getting outside just for a little bit can be very helpful.” A reminder from Andrea Bonior, PhD, clinical psychologist.
Their Focus Is Affected.
Science says that kids who are always on their phones or televisions have less ability to focus compared to kids who are not into video games. Their brain tends to think superficially and not critically, and this can affect their school and home performance.
Their Socializing And Interacting Skills Are Also Affected.
Kids who mostly focus their time on screens won’t know how to socialize or interact outside their bubble. They tend to shy away from strangers and have a hard time with socializing face to face. They can develop social anxiety and other mental illnesses caused by being on screen too much. They can also have lowered self-esteem, and it can be hard for them to be around a lot of people all the time.
All of these don’t mean that technology is bad for your children. There will be times that they will have to use their phones or computers for projects and other activities involving school. Their friends might be on social media, and the only way they can keep up is through texts.
We can never really eliminate the use of technology. We, as adults, depend on it too. The best way is to limit screen time so that children will not develop screen addiction. If they are entertained without using their phones or computers, then they can experience more of life’s great offers. Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D., a licensed clinical psychologist says, “Think about what our devices have done to the fabric of our society. When you go to a restaurant, you’ll see an entire family on their phones. While I’m sure [the rise in social anxiety] is a combination of many factors, I think all of us intuitively understand that it has something to do with technology.” Perhaps, she is correct.
Make way for them to enjoy without facing their screens and scrolling through social media all day. Give them activities that they are interested in and let them be part of the decision making around the house. Give them chores and daily schedules so they will have less time to be on their phones.
Encourage your kids to play outdoors and let them join fun activities outside the house. This will entertain them for hours and get their minds off their gadgets. This will be a fun way of limiting their screentime without them noticing.
If you ever need to use technology, encourage them to use their time purposefully. Let them pick out a tv show that will be educational and entertaining at the same time, so they continue to learn even on hours of screentime. Or you can encourage them to consume content from platforms like BetterHelp that provide helpful tips in well-being care. This time can also be allotted for research for school purposes, and they can have a quick peek on their social media accounts.
You, as a parent, should set an example. If you are always on your phone, your kids will pick that up and think that it is okay for them to do that too. If avoidable, do not use your gadgets in front of your children and give them your whole attention.
This could also be the time to talk to each other and tell stories about your day. This will be a great form of bonding that everyone would surely love to do. By this, you are not missing out on your kids, and you are even updated with their everyday lives. If you’re struggling to communicate with your child, you can reach out online to licensed professionals. Online counseling is an excellent solution for this, as you can instantly apply the advice that you learned.
We all know how we have all become dependent on technology. From paying the bills to buying food, we can all do it on our phones, and this has been the greatest convenience, especially to working parents who have no time to do errands. But we all should be conscious of how long we take our time in front of our screens and how our children are doing the same. It is essential that we take care of our health and the development of our children and avoid long hours of screentime if possible.