In today’s day and age, it is important that your child develops an aptitude for technology, as it is an essential skill to have now and in the future. However, on average, children spend five to six hours a day looking into digital screens. They’re also often using two devices at once, for example watching television while playing on an iPad.
Since technological growth is so rapid and children easily adapt to changes, it is very difficult for parents to shift their child’s interest from these exciting gadgets. Electronic devices also always succeed in keeping kids both busy and quiet, which is why most parents find it to be a great tool to keep them occupied. However, overuse of these devices has its trade-offs. Doctors believe overexposure to screen light leaves its impact on a child’s attention span, concentration, and appetite.
As a parent, it is also very important to ensure your child enjoys time outside the world of devices. Children need to be encouraged to visit parks, play sports, and use their time playing games that not only keep them busy, but simultaneously also impart knowledge and skills. Parents need to invest in games and activities that help their children learn and get wiser rather than in products that keep children engrossed for hours and have a minimal learning outcome.
While not using electronic devices is almost impossible for anyone in the present day, an overuse of them is almost detrimental to any child’s growth.You might wonder exactly why this is? Well, there are innumerable reasons but we have short-listed the top ten ones below.
- Screen light damages a child’s attention span and negatively affects their eyes.
- Digital devices emit radiation, and since children are relatively more sensitive than adults, these emissions can be considerably harmful to their health.
- Smartphones cause addiction and their overuse can become a permanent habit in children without parents even realizing. For example, most parents notice their children constantly asking them for permission to play games on their phone, but don’t realize the addictive impact it has on them.
- Excessive use of devices impacts mental and physical development of your child.
- Babies and toddlers learn better with materials they can touch, versus what they see on a screen. Exploring concepts in three dimensions is proven to be much more effective than two dimensions for cognitive development.
- Overuse of electronic devices causes aggression in children. In fact, extreme overuse can cause mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, attachment disorder, autism, bipolar disorder, as well as problematic child behaviour.
- If children use handheld devices in excess, they can become sleep deprived resulting in a drop in their school grades.
- TV, video games, smartphones as well as tablets make children less active and result in weight gain, as they do not get adequate exercise.
- Smartphone usage also leads to poor memory, which can result in digital dementia.
- Use of digital devices cuts children off from the real world and makes them unresponsive when using these devices.
While there might be benefit to your child from using digital devices, the drawbacks outweigh them drastically. It’s important to put limits on using devices from an early age. Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple himself didn’t let his kids use an iPad at home, out of the fear that they would become addicted to technological devices.
Parents have complete control over the habits their children develop at a young age and since we’re aware of how harmful these devices can be; it is essential that you as a parent take the correct action.