Gadget Use in Kids: When Enough is Enough
Wed, April 21, 2021

Gadget Use in Kids: When Enough is Enough

Today’s world is increasingly becoming more and more dependent on technology. At almost every corner of the house and outside, you can see the products of technology that has advanced over the past 50 years / Photo by: polya_olya via Shutterstock

 

Today’s world is increasingly becoming more and more dependent on technology. At almost every corner of the house and outside, you can see the products of technology that has advanced over the past 50 years. Our society has become too centered on connectivity or the internet that some jobs cannot function without these factors. It is really amazing what the human mind can accomplish, especially in the quest for making life easier and more comfortable.

People are so hooked on their phone or computer, but this should not be the case when it comes to children as recent studies have uncovered the adverse effects of too much screen time on a child’s growth and mental capability. In an article on Home BT, a website that provides internet-related services and information, around 47% of parents are really concerned about the amount of time kids spend on their phones, computers, or tablets. Even at an early age, a lot of kids are already introduced to social media, not knowing what it really is for and the effects it may have on their lives. Especially during the summer, when kids take their time off from school, many parents believe that this would be the time that they’ll be spending long hours looking at their gadgets.

Although many would agree that screen time is a good way for parents to keep their kids quiet, studies have shown that too much of it is detrimental to the children’s health and wellbeing. Certain limitations should be set in order for your child to do other activities besides just playing online games, chatting, or checking their news feed.

 

Why Do We Have to Limit the Kids’ Gadget Use?

There have been concerns about the length of time children use gadgets in school and at home that not a few people are already asking for a ban on gadget use for children below 12 years old. You will be surprised that some parents actually do not agree with such a proposal, but it is something that could be truly beneficial to the child.

According to The Joint, a website that offers information on chiropractic services and other health-related concerns, there are things to be considered when it comes to why we should limit technology use in our children.

- Exercise is necessary

Instead of having to go to a park and play ball, most kids these days are hooked on their phones, computers, or gaming consoles, not knowing that they are missing out on one healthy activity: exercise. Aside from the bad effects on the body of a lack of exercise, it can also affect the child’s mental and emotional development. Reports showed that active kids are keener to get better grades in school and have fewer behavioral problems.

- Radiation exposure

There have been studies on radiation being emitted by cell phones and computer screens and their negative effects on users. Though there is no accepted evidence yet on radiation from gadgets that have caused cancer, the American Cancer Society suggests the limit on cell phone use in children.

- Developmental problems

It is essential that children develop their cognitive and motor skills at a young age. Being exposed to gadgets so young could hinder their cognitive development and may even affect visual, motor, and spatial skills.

- Posture problems

Most people are hunched over when they are looking at their phones or their laptops. The same is true with children. However, since kids are still developing their bodies, this could affect their posture as they grow, resulting in spine problems, chronic pain, and other health issues.

There have been studies on radiation being emitted by cell phones and computer screens and their negative effects on users / Photo by: Antrakt2 via Shutterstock

 

How to Limit Gadget Use

Using technology is not really bad, but everything excessive is never good. Parents, therefore, should limit the time their kids use electronic gadgets in order to promote more physical activities. Verywell Family, a website that provides related information about family life and child development, lists down some of the things parents can do to limit their children’s screen time.

1. Follow reflective practice

If you want your kids to follow you, then be a good example to them. Parents should also limit the time they use technology when in front of the kids. As much as possible, show them that there are better things that they can do together than just using their phones.

2. Be aware of current developments

It is said that young people are more up-to-date when it comes to technology. Parents better start reading and being familiar with all the things their children might encounter online, especially when it comes to social media. You should know the risks before you actually tell them things.

3. Have a tech-free part of the house

You can tell your kids that some parts of the house should be gadget-free. This could include the dining area, the living room, or even the bedroom. Give them some time to use their gadgets, but make sure that they do not exceed the limits you set.

4. Make use of that free parental-control app

There are apps that allow you to control the kind of content that your kids see on television or the internet. Make sure that you know what they are watching so that you can always guide them properly.

5. Ask them out

Introduce some new sport, or maybe have some time to go out with them on a weekend. This will allow them to see that there are other things that they can do than just be on their phones most of the time.

While it is fairly difficult now to pry children from their gadgets, parents must do everything they can to maintain moderation especially when it comes to screen time. Providing kids better and more fun alternatives is a step in the right direction, and it also offers the bonus of creating a stronger bond between them and the parents.

Introduce some new sport, or maybe have some time to go out with them on a weekend. This will allow them to see that there are other things that they can do than just be on their phones most of the time / Photo by: Purino via Shutterstock