Children who are heavy users of electronics may become good at multitasking but they can lose the ability to focus on what is important which is a critical trait for developing deep thoughts and problem solving skills – inevitable skills needed for many jobs and various life’s endeavours.
The American Academy of Pediatricians maintains that before age 2, children should not be exposed to any electronic media because children’s brains develop rapidly at these first years and young children learn best by interacting with people not screens. Older children and teenagers should spend not more than one or two hours a day with entertainment media preferable with high quality content. they should spend more free time playing outdoors, engaging in hobbies and using their imaginations in free play.
It may seem an uphill task for most parents who would rather keep children busy as these electronic devices become ‘babysitters’ of some sort. They even help keep children off their parents who would like to engage in their own personal screen time during their free time. However, excessive screen time does more harm than good to children. It negatively affects their behaviour, health and school performance according to the Academy. Children develop pain in wrists and fingers, narrowed blood vessels in their eyes,neck and back pain as a result of being slumped over on their phones, tablets and computers.
Technology is a poor substitute for personal interaction. According to Kristina E. Hatch (while preparing her Ph.D thesis at the University of Rhode Island), as children have more of their communication through electronic media than face to face, they begin to feel more lonely and depressed.
So much to act upon as many of us feel really tempted to embrace the ‘freedom’ we feel when our kids are stuck to those screens. We have to unlearn these habits and find possible ways to engage our kids in less harmful/engaging activities. Tips for simple fun activities for your kids to follow this. 🙂