We live in a world in which technology has become a priority. You just have to watch the person next to you or at yourself to see how dependent we have become on electronics. Cell phones, tablets, smartwatches, and computers, among others, are now an essential part of our daily routines. Unfortunately, even when technology has given us many advantages and benefits, it has been negatively damaging our relationships and the way we raise our children. Just look at a group of teens and see how even when they are together, they are not together because they are immersed in their cell phones. I have seen youngsters supposedly sharing, and instead of having good conversations and spending time together, they are texting each other even when they are in the same room. For me, all that is happening is sad. To see how a phone, a tv, or a tablet has slowly replaced human contact and how it has become a crucial tool for many parents is heartbreaking. If I ask you, how much time does your child spends watching TV or movies, playing with a smartphone or computer, or enjoying video games? Would you be able to answer truthfully?
Conscious of the importance of creating awareness about healthy screen habits, we want to provide you with important information about How much screen time is too much and what problems excess screen time causes children.
The American Academy of Pediatrics deters electronic media use by children younger than two years old. They also suggest restricting older children's screen time to no more than one or two hours a day.
According to The Mayo Clinic, too much screen time can cause:
Obesity- The more time they spend being sedentary watching tv or playing video games, the less they would exercise.
Irregular sleep- Too much screen time can cause sleep disorders in children.
Behavioral problems- Too much tv and video games can cause emotional, social, and attention problems.
Impaired academic performance- If the time your child spends with electronics is unbalanced, your child's academic performance will be negatively affected.
Violence- A lot of games are very violent. If your child is continuously exposed to violence, they will start thinking it is acceptable to use violence to resolve conflicts.
Less time for play- excessive screen time leaves less time for exercise and creativity.
What can you do to reduce your child's screen time?
Eliminate background TV.
Keep TVs, smartphones, and computers out of the bedroom.
Don't eat in front of a screen.
Plan what your child views.
Spend time with your child doing other activities.
Record programs and watch them together later.
Encourage active screen time, like games that require movement or being active.
Encourage your child to do something creative or play in the backyard.
When they are with friends, encourage them to turn their phones off.
I know it is not an easy task to take your child off the screen, but it is possible and the best token of love you can give them. There's no greater satisfaction than seeing your kids spend their time creating or doing something different than screen time. You will see the changes in their behavior and their health.