Author: Austin Stanfel
Is this familiar to you? You enter a den or a room on a bright day, and you see all your children staring at a computer screen. Surprisingly, most children nowadays spend more time with technological devices rather than playing outside. However, when we were little, things used to be a lot more different.
In case you are worried about this behavior, you do have a good reason. In this regard, the American Academy of Paediatrics has set specific guidelines. These state that children under the age of two should not be given any screen time. At the same time, screen time should be lesser than an hour for children in preschool.
The older children should have just as much screen time that does not limit other activities like studying, playing with friends outside, or hanging out. For older children, it is all about balance.
However, since such habits have been ingrained very deeply in the head of children, it is quite difficult for parents to get their children off from a screen. This results in a complete meltdown, in which many parents choose to give up instead. However, if parents stand their ground on the issue, they can provide some real health benefits to the children.
There are several adverse physical effects of high screen usage. This may include headaches, eyesight problems, poor sleep, and obesity. At the same time, it may also result in bad eating habits. After all, people who spend too much time in front of a screen adopt a snacking style of eating. This may also contribute significantly to aggression, anxiety, and other mental health problems.
When children start spending more time in front of the computer screen, they jeopardize their people skills. As a result of this, they fail to develop the necessary interpersonal skills that include playing with other children, treating others nicely, using good judgment, thinking critically, and building social linkages and relationships.
Every parent would agree that the effects, as mentioned earlier, are not favorable. So, now, the question is that what can parents do to reduce the screen-time of children?
First of all, parents need to step up some clear rules regarding screen usage. Children of different ages have different reasons to use a computer. Those who study in the mid-school or high-school may have to use computers for their school assignments and homework. However, there is a big difference in working on the computer or studying and watching videos on YouTube endlessly.
Perhaps, one of the most effective ways in which parents can encourage children to reduce screen usage is to model the behavior themselves. They say that children like to learn from their parents. Moreover, they will follow in your footsteps in all walks of life. So make sure that you too do not spend excessive time in front of a screen. By incorporating significant downtime and outdoor exercise in your routine, your children will also be motivated to follow a similar lifestyle.