What happened to a childhood filled with imagination, outdoor games, and exploration? Instead, the new generation seems to be filled with screens, upgrades, and online conversation. Arguably, these technologies can increase children’s intelligence and help them in school, but only with monitored and appropriate use.
According to a recent study, technology is creating common platforms for socialization, leading to greater feelings of connectedness in society. Video games offer ways for kids to collaborate, take turns, and learn basic principles of teamwork and sharing while increasing logical thinking and developing motor skills and hand-eye coordination. However, these possible benefits do not outweigh the threat technology poses to young individuals.
On an average day, 29% of babies watch TV and videos for an average of 90 minutes. Why should these children be confined to screens telling them stories or showing them images of the world when they could be experiencing their surroundings for themselves?
As if the statistics weren’t already startling, the connection between early screen time and delayed language acquisition as well as irregular sleep patterns is undeniable. Even after the screen is shut off, the images and memories remain. The more time young children spend with screens, the more difficulty they have turning off screens when they become older.
Research links screen time to many of the health and social problems facing children today, including disinterest in creative play, less interaction with adults, as well as compromised school performance, childhood obesity, and sleep disturbance.
Have you stopped to think about how your child grabbed your phone to play Fruit Ninja? Or about how he was glued to the TV when you called him for dinner? I bet you’re nodding your head and wondering how to fix this big technological mess. It’s simple. Spend time with your kids. Play with them. Talk to them. They need parents, not screens, to offer guidance, advice, hugs, and love. Remember that they won’t be young forever, so while they are still growing, please be there.