With changing times, preferences of entertainment have also changed. Back in those days, kids loved to play with colourful toys and run about in the garden with their friends. However, this isn’t the scenario we get to experience as of today. Kids these days are addicted to gadgets like your smartphones, tablets, televisions and gaming consoles!
Most of us watch videos on the go to kill time, and just like that kids love watching their favourite cartoons and films on their smart pads! You must have heard a lot of mommies complain that “ Ooh, my child loves playing with the phone!” or “ My baby cries if I don’t give her/him a phone” or worse… “The only way to get my child to stop crying is by giving them a mobile phone to play with!”
As time passes, the dependency on these gadgets will increase which would result in brain damage and bad eyesight. Therefore it is essential for parents to restrict the ‘screen time’. The American Academy Of Paediatrics recommends a maximum limit of 60 minutes screen time for kids aged between 2-5 and for kids that fall below this age should not use gadgets at all!!
What are the harmful effects of these gadgets on children?
A study shows that- the more time kids spend with their smart devices, the lesser they will sleep and lower will be their span of attention! This behaviour will lead to kids falling asleep during the daytime rather than the night and this definitely isn’t a healthy sign.
This study has also revealed a shocking fact that every 15 minutes your child spends scrolling through a smart device, he/she loses about 1 hour of sleep. So, your smart purchases are not so smart and beneficial after all!
Another study found that the more time children engage on smart devices, the longer their speech would be delayed. This is probably because children end up watching and looking at the screen instead of trying to talk. This sort of an addiction to gadgets is known as ‘Screen Dependency Disorder’ and it is closely related to ‘Internet Addiction Disorder.’
You must have come across instances where babies are easily able to unlock phones and turn the television!!
What are the symptoms of this disorder?
-Weight loss or gain
How to tackle this problem?
Most parents readily give their kids a gadget to make their kid stop crying. However, this kind of a behaviour should be reported to the child’s paediatrician as he will be in the best position to guide you through this problem.
Since addiction is a serious problem, it affects the child’s brains just like the way alcohol or drugs disturb the mental balance. Due to this, children develop conditions like lack of impulse control, unorganised, cannot prioritise or even craft a plan! The part of the brain which is responsible for empathy and compassion for others gets affected too.
Although this condition is a relatively new concept, it is important that we are aware of these things. It is true, that there are a lot of red flags to watch out for when it comes to using gadgets, but it has also been said that the literacy of this century is all about being able to manipulate technology and not one’s ability to write.
Therefore, motivate your kids to opt for face to face interactions instead of using facetime, use a common pencil over a smart pen! Help them enjoy the sweetness of childhood and not get manipulated by the cloud of technology!