Growing up these days is quite a challenge I would say. Our kids have more challenges than what we used to have. Not only has the education system been taken up a notch, use of gadgets and such have become a must! I am surprised at how well the children of today adapt to the tech stuff. Some of us fail to make use of several apps and functions that are available on the phones and tablets, yet, leave the kids with a phone or tab for an hour, they will be pros at handling it!
Now I am not an anti-gadget person as such, but I believe in keeping it to a minimum. While I give my kids screen time for about an hour, I am totally against giving them mobile phones! I just prefer Tabs over phones – because the screens are bigger and you can actually turn off the Wi-Fi or turn on the airplane mode and give your child the tab to play with. This can even be done on the phones, but since the screen is smaller, there is a lot of eye damage we are talking about here.
I see most parents handing over their phones to their kids, and I wonder how quickly has “mobile phone” taken over not only our lives but also that of our children. Our children get attracted towards it like a fly does to a sweet(lame association – but that’s how it is!). Our childhood had us making imaginary game play and playing outside- come rain or shine. Our childhood was about sitting at home and coloring or doing anything that could be done – for hours together. On the other hand, our children are dealing with a totally different life altogether! The time outside is spent in front of the telly- watching rubbish shows that really do no good to the eyes, or the mind. The imaginary game play is limited to the multiple games on the phones or tabs, which a child plays for no less than 10 minutes, hopping from one game to another.
Childhood is really scary these days! Children are becoming more and more stubborn and know really well how to manipulate parents into giving them what they want! I for one, have been termed as a “Hitler Mom” for there mere fact that I don’t give my children phone, and limit their Tab screen time 😀 I personally don’t mind.. after all I am just looking out for my children. SO why do I actually limit the time? … read on..
Ill-effects of Screen time:
Lots of screen time has proven to make children sleep deprived. All children think about is playing that game or watching that cartoon. the constant staring at the screen provides a lot of strain to the eyes. The blue light from the phone or tab screen gives the brain incorrect signals, where the body assumes that it is day time and the brain signals the body to stay awake.. children need their sleep as their body has still a lot of growing up to do.. and a lot of growing up activity happens when the child is asleep.
Since all the child does all day is play on the phone, or the tab, or watches TV, so there is actually a big lack of physical activity, which in turn can make the child a high risk for obesity. With the kind of food the children are already indulging in, this adds to the risk factor! and of course, obesity comes with its set of problems.. like Type 1 diabetes, heart diseases – yes in children… so you might wanna think again when you hand over the phone to your child?
Screen time is also a kind of an addiction.. children get aggressive when they aren’t given their screen time. I don’t say to completely avoid it, but you should always set a time frame.. too much of anything is bad.. Children exposed to excessive screen time also tend to be anti-social.. they tend to avoid meeting people, or aren’t comfortable around people and tend to gain comfort from the gadgets.. that’s really not something which is normal for a child! Think of all the bad effects this will have in his/her later life – how will the children bond if they lack social skills? How will the have long lasting friendships, how will their marriages work? how will they be at work?
It is actually a lot to think about.. I know that sometimes children force us to give in to their temptation.. of course when they are acting weird around people and making you red in the face you feel that they will at least sit in a corner and stay busy when handed a mobile phone, but what about all the developmental and psychological issues that the child will develop just because you cannot handle the goofiness…
I am proud that I am a HITLER MAMMA.. I care less, when my child is on the floor, being stubborn about playing a game on the iPad.. I know I am trying to bring some normalcy in their lives.. I just don’t mind when they are spilling water in people house – they are growing up and learning how to do things by making mistakes…
If your child is a screen-time addict, you can change that for him/her now, before it is too late… we might not think of it now, but the long term effects are too harsh to ignore… Please let your child live, give him time to explore and learn…not via gadgets!
P.S : We don’t claim ownership of images used in this post. Image source: www.google.com