Too much screen time? Easy Alternatives Device-Obsessed Kids
- 25 Nov 2019
Today’s children (or the adults of tomorrow, I should say!) are as familiar with technology as we are with an old friend. Their comfort level with phones, tablets, and PCs is so high that they have no problem figuring out how to do any kind of task or use any kind of program. Be honest- who has asked a teenager for help with technology and got a quick solution? That would be a Yes from majority of us, I suspect!
The fact that our youngsters are so IT savvy is great as their world will be increasingly reliant on further technology innovations. However, parents are advised to limit their children’s exposure to technology because of the dangers presented by misuse of social media and the ungovernable avenues of content on different websites and platforms that may prove unsuitable for their eyes. So, the question is, how can we inspire children to enjoy recreation or creativity without their devices? Let’s explore alternatives by first considering some of the drawbacks to too much screen time…
Effect of Technology on Children Development
1. Not enough reading time
Many kids opt for entertainment through electronic devices than through books. However, the benefits of reading cannot be emphasized enough. Unlike watching a TV show or cartoons, reading develops the mind, enhances the vocabulary, and instils a love of literature that can last a lifetime. So, why not introduce your child to books about their passions? (even if it is technology!) Try to find the time to sit and read with your child and use it as a great opportunity to bond.
2. Less family interaction
How many times do people continue to scroll through their phones or devices when they are in company? Many of us may be guilty of this as we scramble to fulfil a plethora of commitments. Of course, we know it’s rude but who doesn’t do it out of necessity from time to time?! However, constant scrolling denies children the social interaction and connection with their families that is so vital to the proper development of their self-esteem, confidence, and communications skills. Do your child a favor and declare dinner ‘family time’ when devices are not tolerated!
3. Compromised socialization
Communicating digitally via text or other Apps means that young people are interacting less and less in person… bad news for how they relate to each other! They’re simply not getting the opportunity to properly develop our social skills, something that’s done over time and by mingling with different people and having face to face conversations. Encourage your children to invite their friends around more, watch a movie with siblings or friends instead of alone and discuss and debate it afterwards.
4. Lack of imaginative play
The rise in device usage and investment means that simpler forms of play are sadly becoming more and more rare! Many kids are opting for more digital play and this means that although they are being entertained and absorbing some information, they’re not developing their creativity and imaginations. For the parent of a gamer, why not encourage them to design their own game? They can develop their ideas with brainstorming and storyboards. This will stimulate a lot of creative methods. If your child is fascinated with how technology works, why not challenge he or she to design their own App in the same way? This type of imaginative play will benefit your child’s brain hugely… and who knows, you might inspire a future tech genius while you’re at it!