Keeping up to date with the latest events, gatherings, and trends – kids nowadays are really into these kinds of things. Their excessive gadget use takes up the space they need for socializing and having physical activities, and being away from their much beloved gadget are causing tantrums and affects their emotional beings.
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Have you ever noticed that children nowadays are better than you in terms of technology? They’re well-versed with “ads,” “downloading,” “streaming,” and the like? This is because they’re exposed to technology too much. Not that technology is a bad thing, as a matter of fact, it’s good that they get used to it while they’re young so they won’t have a hard time dealing with it when they get older. The problem is with their excessive gadget usage. They spend more time looking at it than developing themselves physically, mentally, and socially.
If you are a parent and observed some, if not all of these situations, your child might be in a bad situation already and needs proper attention right away.
Being a parent, you just want the best for your kid, right? Apparently, watching Youtube videos 6 hours per day isn’t. Here are some situations you need to have an eye on:
- Your children shows tantrums or dissatisfaction when theirgadget is away from him; the only way to make him feel better is to be together again with his electronic pal/gadget;
- They’re already old enough to talk, usually around 2-3 years old, but they’re only capable of pointing at things that captures his interest. This is something that needs to be addressed as soon as you can because your children might have problems speaking;
- Most of the time, your child can’t sleep without looking at the bright screen of your phone or his tablet;
- If they’re already attending school, they can’t focus on their school assignments and works because they can put more focus on social media applications than the subjects they have at school;
- Easy distraction by the tone of their gadgets; well this usually happens every 30 seconds; and
- Can’t finish reading a five-page article but can easily finish at least 5 Facebook clips without any problem.
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Excessive gadget use, such as phones, laptops, and tables, can harm a child’s overall development. Not only emotional development, but also physical. Given these said scenarios, children spend less and lesser time outside, tightening their physicality. They don’t get enough sun, which is also vital to have strong bones. Lack of physical activity is also a huge issue. Not getting enough exercise is directly linked to having serious medical conditions such as obesity, osteoporosis, and diabetes.
With much more younger kids, patience is a huge issue. They easily get frustrated when they don’t get things right away; well it’s because they are used to getting what they want to see with just a click. With their excessive gadget use, they think they access what they want. Little did they know they actually can access everything.
Kids with excessive gadget usage indoors, don’t get a lot of opportunities to interact with other kids. They won’t be able to enhance their social skills. They won’t know the thrill of waiting for their turn in the swing, or sharing their toys with other kids.
Children may also develop an aggressive behavior, since they’can always see violent contents and videos online. They imitate what they see and they think it is just normal. The fact that they spend a lot of time online, means that they don’t get to sleep a lot at night. We know that getting enough sleep is vital for our kids’ development.
Now that we know these things, most of us might think that removing all kinds of gadget is the solution. It’s not always true, because they should also be exposed to gadgets to optimize their learning. Limiting them to certain extent is the key.
Here are some tips according to some well-known educators:
- Children ages two (2) to five (5) should only get one (1) hour per day of high-quality programs using technological devices. This way, you start to build up the nature of it not being a necessity;
- Children ages (six) 6 years and older should get a constant limit on the type of media exposure. One of the things to consider is that the time they spend on their gadgets should not hinder them from getting enough sleep.
- There should also be house rules. For example, using their gadgets while in the dining table and bedroom should be limited. The reason behind this is to promote social interaction while eating and for them to get enough and relaxing sleep.
- Being a good example is also key. If you work from home, don’t let your child see that you stare in front of a computer or a laptop eight (8) hours a day. They won’t understand jobs yet. As much as possible, refrain from using it while they’re around.
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Although technology is present to help us in whatever we’re doing, it’s actually compromising children’s health. This is one reason to have control over gadgets as early as they’re young. Not only that they’re obviously deteriorating their eyesight because of too much staring to radiation, there’s actually much more to that.