For the last one and half years or more, children have started spending more screen time whether we like it or not. School education had to continue and the only way to do that was to do it through online classrooms. When it started, parents and teachers were only too glad to have the children back in classes though it was hectic for them.
But with time, they realized that it meant more hours of children straining at phone or computer screens to watch lectures or video presentations of classes. Teachers are putting in their best efforts to make classes interactive. But even now, when the schools have reopened, the teachers are not giving up the online classes completely. This said, many researchers are having mixed feelings about screen time for children. Why? Let’s see.
Screen Time and How it Impacts
Screen time means the time the kids spend staring at computers or mobile phones. Let’s go back in time, and think of the days when parents’ only concern was the kids’ obsession with television. They would urge their kids to go out and play. Today, as a parent with kids spending a lot of time you might also want to suggest the same.
Now, the big question is what happens when you go for longer screen time.
Let’s start with the brain and the longer you sit in front of the computer or stare at the phone, the cortex of the brain begins thinning. What happens then? Their ability to learn and reason reduces with this and therefore, can impair their learning and critical thinking abilities with time. It is true as you will find kids who are engaging in phones or tablets do not find it easy to improve social skills. Many researchers are also stating that the radiations that cell phones emit are bad for the brain and the overall welfare of the child.
Long hours of watching television or staring at screens can cause eye problems. This may start with headaches and slowly cause more serious vision-related issues with time.
As a kid stares at the screen of a computer or a mobile phone for long, he does not realize the time he spends alone. Instead, the kid should be spending more time with friends and play outdoors, games that would help in complete development.
Children indeed struggle with sleep and it takes parents’ combined efforts to put them to sleep. This is even more stressful when the parents are exhausted but the kids are not even in the mood to go to bed. Kids might either take the phone to bed or watch animated serials or movies. This might be causing double stress as they may become addicted to this.
Or else, the kids might go to sleep later watching a movie or series. If they watch these for a longer duration, they may wake up still feeling sleepy. Their sleep cycle gets erratic and therefore, causes them to be feeling disoriented and disturbed throughout the day.
The Final Call
School administrations have given their final response regarding this issue already. They say that the Indian Association of Pediatrics and the Indian Psychiatric Society along with the American Association of Pediatrics have set a two-hour limit to screen time. This along with sleep and fitness routines is essential otherwise, there is a poor outcome. Students below two years of age should use screens even less.
However, older kids claim they spend more than six hours a day. All said parents and teachers should remember to restrict screen time as much as possible. Now, with schools reopening, this is an achievable feat. So, just allot a curfew or set a time frame beyond which the kids should not watch television, or play on the phones.
Why do we have to jump into action as parents? It is shocking to note that a seemingly large fraction of the young population is already getting addicted to screens. The earlier we take the steps the better for an entire future generation. Also, the answer to the questions- if there is a future for kids without screens is NO. We will still see schools and parents using the screens for education and entertainment. But we can always ensure a restricted management of the screen-time for kids.
The Cap-seller Tactic
Parents need to remember that kids mirror their action. So, to ensure their children do not spend a lot of time on their phones, they also need to keep their phones away. You might start by setting a ‘No-Phone-Hour’. This would urge the kids to keep the phones as well. In the time they get, there should be family-bound activities like playing badminton, chess or even gardening.
Many parents then ask what their kids would do instead to entertain themselves. Help them take up a hobby or learn a new skill to go ahead in life. You may even read out the stories from the Sapien Fables, and help them work on the DIY materials that come along with them in the Wisdom Box. There cannot be a better solution to this problem.
To buy and gift a book to your child, shop from SapienKid’s website www.sapienkid.com now!
To get such handy and useful parenting tips, you can also visit our Sapien Parenting Page.