Be honest, how much daily screen time does your child really get, including phones, tablets, and computers? How much per week? Now compare that to how much screen time you enjoyed as a child. Baffling, isn’t it? Now of course we live in different times – but you are still a parent and you have control over what your child is exposed to.
Many electronic devices are amazing. Tablets, if used as educational tools, are admittedly pretty neat; children can learn from them. It seems acceptable to reserve very limited time for technological use. However, focus on the word “limited”. The downfall of having your children spend too much time with technology will horrify you.
Rachael Bedford, Ph.D., a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College, London, found that passive viewing of television has been correlated to a decrease in language ability. Dr. Liraz Margalit, a customer experience Psychologist at ClickTale explains that “A number of troubling studies connect delayed cognitive development in kids with extended exposure to electronic media.”
If all that doesn’t frighten you enough, a research team led by Dr. Narvaez in the Department of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame explains that excessive screen time takes away from physical activity, which has multiple consequences, none of them positive. Dr. Narvaez emphasizes that the lack of time designated to physical activity and play are evident in the increase of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular problems children experience in alarming numbers.
It is time you regain control of the situation. Get your children excited about going outside to play. You must initiate alternative play; they will respond to your enthusiasm and interest, especially if you do not rely on electronic devices during your free time. If you engage with your children through play, they will be better adjusted and healthier adults. Sitting your kids down in front of the T.V. or a tablet is easier, but it isn’t healthy for them at all.
Put the screens away!
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