Children are the pride of the parents, little bundles of joys, infinite energy, a constant source of equal parts happiness and worry with what now and what then, and occasionally brats and nuisances. I know I have been around enough kids, just to clear up the situation I live with a 3-year-old and a 13-year-old. So, trust me when I say I know what we are dealing with. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and it’s true. But with the shrinking worlds, these days villages may not be a part of raising kids, but screens have surely invaded our parenting techniques. From the times we are too tired and don’t have the energy to listen to there stories any longer, to try and pacify the crying toddler, or just because they are demanding to see it, our kids (even we adults) are hooked to screens. The average recommended screen time for kids aged between 18 months to 5-year-old was 2 hours a day and now has been further shortened to 1 hour a day. And for the others, it should be limited to a healthy experience. The funny part is we all know that too much of it is bad for them but most kids I have seen are spending more than 2 hours a day easily on screens and not for educational purposes. Maybe we really need to understand how it affects the kids badly.
- Researches show that toddlers and preschoolers who spend a lot of time on screens have slower developmental phase including talking, memory retention, focus, and attention even delayed walking. Thinking is hampered as screens limit curiosity and imagination.
- More screen time means a rise in a sedentary lifestyle, which leads to obesity and other associated risks.
- Kids who spend more time indoors, have weaker immune systems against the ones who go out to play.
- This also negatively impacts a child’s interpersonal and social skills.
- Children need proper sleep in order to grow properly and screens interfere with sleep patterns as well
- Obviously, they are bad for eyes, thanks to the blue light effect, dryness irritation become common.
- Researches suggest that kids with too much screen time are more at risk of suffering through anxiety and depression.
- It is my opinion, but I think there is too much exposure thanks to the internet. Yes, there are parental control guidelines and they work, but still, kids get access to way more information than they should and sometimes this distorts how they view the world, and there understanding of it. For example, body image, violence, consumerism.
These are all genuine and real problems that threaten a child, even we adults, and the family as a whole.
So yes, limiting screen time is a need for kids and us adults too. Because children mimic adult behavior. We need to come up with some healthy alternatives to just sitting in front of screens, and also when you do monitor what is being viewed on the screens is imperative for the healthy growth of a child. We all want the best for our kids, but we are so used to relying on technology in this age for everything that it’s become the norm. But this norm needs to be changed for the children to be able to unleash their true potential.
The irony isn’t lost on me when I am writing and expect you to read this article on a screen as well. But like I said timing the screen time is the way to go.