We live in this modern age of technology wherein kids are used to tinkering with their smartphones and tablets. It may be a reason for them to stay put and be quiet, but you know what, spending too much time on their gadgets is terrible for their health. The big question here is – how can you regulate their use of devices?
Reasons Why Gadget Usage By Your Kids Needs Control
“The stuff kids can access in cyberspace can be dangerous.” Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., LMFT said. But aside from that, there’s more to it that you can imagine. Before we go to regulating the use of smartphones and tablets by your children, let’s review first the reasons why gadget usage by your kids needs control. An OT (Occupational Therapist) for children by the name of Cris Rowan was very vocal on her plea of banning gadget use on kids below 12 years old. The pediatric OT explained that too much use of gadgets could cause serious health risks. As for that, here are some things to consider:
- When children are preoccupied with their devices, the internet, and game apps, they become “body and mind” idle. They won’t play the old school way which is running, and that means, no exercise for them, as well. If they don’t exercise, kids can become obese or malnourished. Also, their brains will not develop as much compared to those who have time to walk and run around.
- Gadgets emit radiation. Daily use will increase the risk of cancer. It is the reason why American Cancer Society advised the limited use of cellphones, especially for kids.
- “We don’t always know causation in psychology — especially without being able to measure something for a long time — but there are a lot of correlational studies that are pointing to social media and digital phone use,” says Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D., a licensed clinical psychologist. A study proved that overuse of gadget on children could impair their cognitive function.
- Eye problems and bad posture are just two of the effects that playing gadgets for an extended period brings to young children.
Controlling The Use Of Gadgets On Your Kids
It’s true that we are in the modern age and that children have to learn how to use gadgets and other technological advancements. However, “Children meet developmental milestones when they are ready. There are ranges of what is considered appropriate and what may be considered delayed.” Francyne Zeltser, Psy.D. said. It must be moderate use and not overuse of devices if you want your child to grow up healthy – mind and body.
- You must spend time with your child and don’t leave them playing with their gadgets all day long.
I know that this is hard to do especially if your child is used to playing with his phone, computer or tablet. But you have to be firm on this and impose a no-gadget rule. During that period, you can bond with your child.
– Read a book or short story together.
– Teach your child to cook, or you can bake some cookies or brownies together.
– Play “pretend” with your child. This will enhance your relationship and his or her imagination.
– Talk with your child and ask how his or her day went.
– Plan for a weekend date, retreat, or getaway.
- Limit the use of gadget by commanding time constraints. Some parents stick to a gadget use schedule. Others turn off their internet at a specific time. Some parents collect the devices from the kids and give them back afterward.
- Tell your child to do other desirable things aside from using their gadgets.
– You can go with them to the mall.
– Set a play date with friends.
– Go to your parent’s place.
– Window shopping is also an option.
I hope these ideas will fit right into your lifestyle and help you control your kids’ gadget use, for the better.