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5 Reasons Why Parents Should Limit Screen Time For Children

Smartphones, tablets, and other gadgets that can access the internet, nowadays play an important role in most people's lives; including children's. It is an unfortunate reality that we often find many parents decide to give their children gadgets to spend time with without realizing just how dangerous it can be. Gadgets can have a bad influence on children's development in their intelligence, behavior, and emotions.

Even so, there are still quite a lot of parents who are not aware of this unfortunate truth. They often give gadgets and allow children to have screen time for entertainment so their children won't disturb them. Even though it may seem easy and effective to calm your child during a tantrum session, as a parent it is important for you to understand why you should not equip your little one with gadgets, no matter what the situation.

Why Allowing Children Screen Time is Dangerous?

Allowing your little one to have screen time is dangerous due to many reasons. But unfortunately, a study shows that many children spend almost 7 hours a day using gadgets. There are around 93% of children aged 12-17 years who understand the internet and 71% of them already have a smartphone.

As is known, gadgets are like knives that have two sides. On the one hand, gadgets provide benefits and are needed during this technological development era, but on the other hand, they also pose a lot of potential dangers. Children often learn and imitate what they see on the screen. Especially if the actions they see are considered realistic.

Without parental supervision, gadgets will have a negative influence on children's development. Therefore, parents must be able to educate their children without having to seize their rights to be able to access digital information, so that gadgets can become effective devices.

There are several negative impacts of the excessive use of gadgets in children. Check out below for the possible impact of excessive screen time on your child's development.

Experiencing speech delays

A study revealed that the more time children spend playing with gadgets, the more likely the child is to experience speech delay. Research proves that there is a significant relationship between gadget use and children's speaking abilities.

When playing with their gadgets, children will focus on looking at the screen. They won't try or make any communication or social contact. These two things are very much needed to help develop children's language skills and speech abilities.

Unable to Concentrate

Medical experts suggest that excessive use of gadgets and screen time among children can lead to symptoms resembling ADHD due to their hyperactivity, resulting in difficulties with concentration.

Health Problems

Overusing gadgets may contribute to childhood obesity as it limits physical activity. Additionally, children's food intake may be affected as they become engrossed in screen time; thus they will tend to eat hastily or excessively. Moreover, prolonged exposure to screens can also lead to eye health issues, causing discomfort and tiredness in the eyes.

Impact on Parent-Child Bond

Children who are more engrossed in gadgets may have less quality time to spend with their parents. This happens because they are often too immersed in virtual interactions with friends and social media. Although not entirely detrimental, this can weaken the parent-child bond and hinder their ability to socialize effectively.

Mental Health Disturbance

The influence of gadgets can also have adverse effects on the mental health of children, possibly leading to depression during childhood and adolescence. Some children may become introverted, anxious, or fearful in face-to-face interactions, preferring to avoid social situations. However, these negative feelings may disappear when they return to using gadgets.

How to Safely Allow Children to Have Screen Time?

According to The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), some older children can be allowed to have screen time as long as the parent closely supervises the content they watch and follow some safe recommendations below:

  • Limit the use of gadgets in children over the age of 2 years to 1-2 hours per day.

  • Children under 2 years of age should not be allowed any screen time, such as TVs, computers, or mobile games.

  • Avoid installing a TV, video game, or personal computer in the child's room.

  • Accompany children when using gadgets and discuss with them the content of the shows they are watching.

  • Make sure children watch age-appropriate programs.

  • No gadgets during meal times

Being parents and children in this digital era is not easy and full of challenges. Gadgets can indeed give a positive influence, but at the same time, they can also bring a negative impact on children's development and their future. Parents must closely supervise, and control their children when having screen time, responsibly and wisely.

Rather than allowing your children screen time and giving them gadgets, you can provide your little one with an age-appropriate board game, toys, or even art and craft equipment instead. Ensuring your children have proper things to play with, can help to shift their focus so they are not only focused on gadgets. Worry not of your spending to purchase these children's play items, you can save by shopping online due to the many promo and discount vouchers available on online shopping platforms.

Help your children, so they will be able to live their life to the fullest by ensuring you limit screen time and allow them to have other fulfilling daily activities instead!

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