Everybody seems to be glued to a screen these days and children are no exception. Unsurprisingly, devices are a huge source of fun for kids. However, the overuse of technology can have many adverse effects on a developing child. While you want them to keep up with the world and enjoy the perks of modern tech, you must also be wondering how to restrict their use of smartphones and tablets. This is a dilemma that most parents face.
Read on to discover how using too much technology can harm children. You’ll also learn how to limit their screen time. With these expert tips, you’ll be able to strike a healthy balance. You’ll keep them happy by imposing healthy boundaries while also providing them with lots of fun.
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What are the negative effects of technology on children?
Technology is everywhere you look so it’s no wonder many children use it compulsively, much like many adults. If digital devices are always within easy reach and parents don’t regulate screen time, children will likely find their allure too enticing. Here’s how it can affect them:
- Obesity: Because children spend more time looking at a computer screen than exercising, they may gain weight. Instead, encourage them to play outside or take them to an amusing indoor playground in North Phoenix so they can jump and run around.
- Physical issues: Problems like eye strain, poor eyesight, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other conditions may arise if the use of technology gets out of hand.
- Social isolation: Children may substitute face-to-face interaction with social media, which means that they don’t get a chance to hone their social skills. This may lead to difficulties communicating with peers in real life.
- Shorter attention span: Computer games and online videos often use flashing images and fast-paced action to keep the user interested. This can make children impatient when they’re engaging in slower, quieter activities.
- Psychological trauma: Children and teens don’t have a well-established self-image and online influences may cause them to feel insecure and unworthy. Apart from comparing themselves to others online, they’re also susceptible to becoming victims of cyberbullying or even predators.
- Exposure to inappropriate content: Without supervision, children can easily come across inappropriate photos or videos that may scare or confuse them.
How to limit children’s screen time?
Here are a few tips to help children unplug and actually take in the world around them:
- Be a good role model by showing your children that you yourself can do without technology.
- Have tech-free zones at home. Bedrooms are a popular choice because this stimulates good night’s sleep.
- Have tech-free parts of the day. It’s especially important to lay off all devices before going to sleep because children need peace and quiet then.
- Explain why it’s important to unplug at times. Children fare better with rules they can understand.
- Take their mind off devices by showing them the world around them. Do fun activities together and online games won’t even cross their minds. For example, have an amazing day out in a trampoline park.
- Make sure they’re physically active. Children thrive when they can move around. Expose them to sports and other activities that engage their bodies and minds.
- Protect them. Use parental controls to block inappropriate content and make sure you know their passwords. Keep an eye on how they use the Internet.
- Use screen time as a reward. Instead of making it the default you have to restrict, frame it as a treat that they can enjoy from time to time. They’ll enjoy it more and they will be unlikely to suffer negative consequences.