The unfortunate reality of today’s modern society is that children are exposed to far more screen time than any parent would like. Between televisions, computers, tablets and phones, children are completely over-exposed to this technological attraction. All too often, it can be easier to simply put a child in front of a screen to keep them busy for an hour while parents go about their day trying to focus on their work or to keep the home running smoothly. While this may be a short term solution to keep the children occupied, it is absolutely a long term liability. Many parents think nothing of their children spending a couple of hours a day in front of a TV or computer, but this can have serious implications. There are real dangers to children that are exposed to too much screen time, and the repercussions are becoming more and more common.
If your child is currently schooling, it will be a good time to observe how committed are they towards their work when they have a lot of screen time or there’s improvement when they focus less. The allure of screen time for young children may be simply too great therefore it is our job as parents to limit this access.
The more screen time the children has, the fatter they are when they are always sitting down. That may sound harsh, but it is true. Every hour a child spends in front of a screen is an hour not spent running around with friends, cycling a bike or climbing a tree. Children should have active lifestyles, and sitting in front of the television for hours on end stunts their physical growth and encourages obesity. Additionally, children that eat meals in front of the TV are most at risk. Meals should always be eaten at a table, with the TV switched off.
How confident are you that you know exactly what your child is viewing on their screens at all times? How confident are you that their computer game contains suitable themes? How confident are you about who they are interacting with on the internet? TV and video games aside, the internet is a very dangerous place that is absolutely unsuitable for young children. Any internet activity should be completely supervised, while all video games and television programs should be age appropriate. The longer children spend in front of the screen, the less you know about what they are looking at.
Digital interaction late at night affects brainwaves in a particular way, and makes it hard for them to get a good night sleep. For this reason, all televisions and computers should be turned off some time (at least two hours) before the scheduled bedtime to allow children the best opportunity for a sound night’s sleep. Additionally, it is important that children do not have access to computers or televisions in their bedrooms. If they can access it, they will access it. Sleep disruption affects mental and physical development, and it should be avoided at all costs.