Now a days, physical activity and play is taken over by electronic devices. We can see all around us and even in our own home, parents, kids and babies all want to spend more and more time on smart phones and tablets watching their favorite rhymes, videos and cartoon or play video games just by sitting all alone. But we as a parent, always want to see our little ones as healthy kids, not lazy ones. Well, in this era of science and technology, it is very difficult to let your child stay away from tablets, smart phone and video games and minimizing their screen time but we as parents should know the effects of technology on children, so that, we can limit the use of these devices for out their own good.
In older days like in 90’s and 80’s and before that, kids used to play together and all the family members sit together and talk to each other rather than being busy on their devices playing games and talking to the friends who live far from them rather than talking to the friends and family sitting next to them.
Well, every invention has some advantages and disadvantages. It’s all about using a gadget occasionally but not 24/7. It’s all about being organised in spending your life in a balanced way. Well, let’s have a look on disadvantages first and then we will discuss advantages and how we, as parents, can play our role in keeping our kids healthy and active.
DISADVANTAGES OF ELECTRONIC DEVICES:
- First three years of child’s age are very crucial as far as mental and physical development is concerned. As their brain is developing very rapidly and their mental growth boosts with real life stimuli i.e., voice of the mother and other people around them, how they are talking, smiling and laughing, how they are moving from one place to another, what and how they are doing things around them, looking at colours and objects and singing rhymes and songs etc etc. Using tablets and electronic devices keeps them away from those real life experiences.
- If children use tablets and other electronic devices a lot, they will lack the ability to communicate and to get the sense of people around them as they are so busy watching videos and playing games to the screen.
- Radiations from these devices also inhibits the developmental process and damages the neurons (nerve cells).
- As kids love watching bright colours and moving objects, they can see these things on a screen just by a finger’s click. So, while they enjoy their videos, games, sounds and colours most of the time, they lack the ability to bond with people around them, or the ability to be friends with someone. Well, they have friends for sure but do you call it friendship that all kids sitting and sharing meals on a table but busy in playing their individual game or video. It means they are physically present with their friends but virtually somewhere else.
- Staying on one place for a longer time makes your child’s skeletal system weak. As, for a strong body, bones and muscles, physical activity is a must.
- As I have mentioned earlier that children using tablets for a longer time lacks the ability to be socialise, this will lead to depression and loneliness as well, which is disastrous for a little growing mind.
- The rhymes, videos and storytelling on electronic devices will spoon feed your child everything and they can’t think and ask questions with a tablet as they do with their parents. This is very damaging for your child’s cognitive skills.
- As on a tablet, children get what they want to see and hear within a second so they find it difficult to stay calm and weight for anything they want, as in real life nothing comes with a click so they get frustrated.
- Kids who use tablets a lot, lacks warmth and affection because they don’t play with real toys like dolls, teddy bears and other pretend toys like kitchen and car’s garage, water play and construction blocks etc., these games not only boost their cognitive skills but they learn togetherness and affection as well while playing together. And most important they learn team work, which they cannot learn from a little screen just by watching a video on teamwork but not practicing.
Though there are a lot of disadvantages of using tablets and smart phones for kids but we also should not ignore the good in it. Just have a look now, I am writing this article by using my electronic device and you are reading it on yours…😊…isn’t it….
- Playing on tablets and listening on it will boost the vocabulary of your child.
- For sure, the developmental boost our child gets from real life world and experiences cannot be replaced, but using and listening from tablets will improve their learning and listening ability.
- It improves eye, hand and mind coordination.
- Children can get good educational knowledge just by a click.
- It does give busy parents some piece of mind but it should not be encouraged for longer period at all.
- It helps us as a parent to learn and teach our kids, the new things and values which were not there when we were kids.
TIPS FOR PARENTS:
- Please be organised and limit the time period of your little ones for using these devices. Experts say that kids over two years of age shouldn’t use tablets for more than one hour per day and babies shouldn’t use these devices at all. Well, as a parent I can understand how difficult it is, but we as a good parent should try our best to do it.
- Try to spend time with your kids, communicate with them, play games and go out and about. This will help you and your little ones to have a strong bond.
- Though there are some advantages of electronic devices but learning and storytelling shouldn’t be completely replaced by these devices. The charm and joy of listening to stories with mum in a warm blanket, listening to your kids and answering their questions, reading stories with face expressions and repeating their favourite sound again and again to make them laugh is the ultimate way to express your immense love to build a strong bond. As, parents are the people who love their kids the most and mothers are no doubt a super loving person, so, is it possible for a tiny device to replace our love and affection…well the answer is….NO….
- If you are at home try to engage your kids with household core as kids love to copy what they see. Play with them, cook with them and even watch tele for some time with them and have fun 😉….
- Be friends with them by listening to their success stories or even if they fail. Encourage and appreciate them. If they are upset give them a cuddle and a shoulder to cry on…make them calm and happy…be their best support and friend on whom they can trust. As kids are never too young to learn anything new, they are also never too old to get a mummy’s cuddle, daddy’s support and a warm cuddles. Arrange play dates and take them to the park along with their friends so that that can play, enjoy and get physically active and at the same time learn about love, affection and teamwork while playing together….
So, these beautiful relationships of friends, siblings, parents and dear ones should not be replaced by tablets. Use these devices and let your kids use these for a specific time period only, so that, they can get the goodness of these inventions not the harms….