Nowadays, kids generally are becoming hyperactive and impatient especially if they can’t get what they want right away. With today’s technological advances, everything becomes easy and convenient. Kids are now overly exposed to handheld gadgets like Smartphones and Gaming devices and it’s the easiest escape for some parents or baby sitters to curb a child’s boredom. Parents should learn that there are several things that can affect kids’ brain development and it may have lasting impact on child’s temperament and performance as they grow. According to studies, children below 12 years old should have restricted access to smartphones. Since their brains and bodies are still developing, visual and mental stimuli is not enough for it to develop properly. Their physical development may be impaired and how they interact with other kids.
When Should Parents Allow Their Kids to Be Exposed to Smartphones?
According to AAP or American Academy of Pediatrics, children aged from 0 to 2 years old should not be exposed with these handheld gadgets. Children aged 3 to 5 years old should only use Smartphones and gaming gadgets for only 1 hour per day. Aged 6 to 18 year-old children also must only be use tablet, smartphones or gaming device for 2 hours per day only. It has been shown that children today are exposed to such technologies longer than recommended and it poses a huge impact to the development of their brains and body. Parents play a big role in this and in order to implement rules for your children, you need to have a plan to reduce our kid’s exposure to handheld gadgets and engage them in happy and stimulating activities instead.
Here are top reasons why you should limit your kid’s exposure to smartphones and tablets:
- Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorders and Increased Tantrums – Children, especially the infant, toddler, and preschoolers are in a phase where they have a very rapid brain development. Just like a clay, it’s the perfect time to mold them emotionally, mentally and physically. It’s an excellent time to engage them to activities that involve their motor skills. Toddlers normally exhibit tantrums but it has been observed that with constant exposure to these handheld technologies, kids become increasingly impulsive and extremely impatient.
- Impaired Learning and Slow Mental and Physical Development – It’s like a domino effect. If a child becomes hyperactive, they tend to pay attention much lesser to teachers in school. They struggle on keeping their interest on a particular subject since they are easily distracted and their minds are preoccupied. Since using a smartphone makes you stay at one spot in a room, the tendency is that kids using phones will become less and less involved with physical activity. Body movement like playing in a backyard for example can enhance the kid’s ability to learn and pay attention especially if they are aged 12 years old and below. According to a study in 2013, one out of 3 children are now suffering from delayed development.
- Technology Addiction – Technology addiction in kids is detrimental to their mental and emotional health. Today, it is common that both parents are working and kids are left to nannies and baby sitters. To compensate, parents tend to give their child gadgets and gaming devices to fill their time and the result is detaching themselves from their parents and attaching themselves more on technology. Having a technology addiction may seem harmless at first but it will become the root of family problems in the future. The more a person spend time on technology, the more they become detached from society and lose their meaningful human connection. Spending time with your child in an engaging activity is way better than leaving them home with their phone and tablets.
- Impaired Social Skills – Being exposed to technology more than the recommended time will result in lesser time outside home. Kids will tend to isolate themselves and won’t be able to practice their social skills. We all know that young children need socialization and play time but due to overexposure to smartphones and gadgets, kids now shy away from human interaction. As they grow old, not only it will cause problems with communicating with them, but they’ll also suffer from being socially awkward. They can’t express themselves and at the same time they will develop depression and apathy.
If you think it’s harsh to ban your kids from smartphones and tablets, you need to know the benefits and consequences of doing so. You will have a better relationship with your kids not just today, but more importantly, in the future. Your kids will thank you later as they grow as smart and happy adults.