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.

ADVANTAGES:

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….

 

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42 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Sarah, thanks for sharing all this good info. I have a 5 year old so I know exactly what you’re talking about. Just like you I do think that there are pros and cons about these electronic devices. I do think though that just as with anything else in life, there has to be a balance. And as you mentioned, controlling the time and supervising the activity is crucial. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

    • Thanks Suzana, Yes indeed balance is the way forward otherwise things would do more harm than good. It is a challenge though to put this into practice.

  2. Advanced technology is so convenient but also becoming a growing concern, especially to our children. My serious concern is actually a social media. Yes, you get a lot of friends all over the world, but you hardly know any of them in person. And all communications became just texting and not face to face. It becomes like that in a workplace (at least mine), so I see that in the future, our next generation may not be able to even talk to face to face (especially discuss something uncomfortable). So I believe it is so crucial that parents still need to teach them how to communicate, especially verbally.
    Great post!

    • Thank you Kyoto for your comments. Actually this is so true and worrisome for all of us that we have virtual friends with whome we chat on mobile but we all especially our younger generation lack real friendship and also the ability to talk face to face. We have to fine a balance in using electro if devices and in living a healthy life with real friends and family not virtual ones.

  3. Hi Sarah
    What great post you have written.
    Brought back some good memory’s of My daughter who is now 26 yrs old. When she was little, we bought her a playstation & in one year if she used it 10 times that was it. She was more interested in been outside in all weathers seeing & exploring. Luckily we had pasture land near our home, that I could take her too & she was able to roam for hours. It’s a real shame kids of today spend more time on electronic games or computers, than been outdoors getting fresh air.
    What do you think it will be like in the next 10 yrs ?
    Keep up the great website
    Paul

    • Hi Paul, thank you for your comments on this article. I agree with you 100%, when we were kids we used to play outside a lot, a lot oh physical activities and true friends. It is worrisome though, how our kids will be in next ten years as technology has taken over everything. But we need to spread awareness and lessons about limiting the use and make true friends, spend a wholesome time with everyone. That’s the reason I wrote this article.

  4. Hi
    Sarah!
    This is so informative am a mother of 2 girls 7 years and 4 years old and was getting worried they were becoming addicted to their tablets that even eating well was becoming an issue, am very grateful for your article since after reading on the disadvantages I can clearly see where we are!Ave started limiting their time on the gadgets and I can see some improvement, with your blog, am sure I will achieve it easily.Thank you

    • Hi mercy, thank you so much for sharing your views on this important issue, I am glad that you find this article really useful as other parents do. Using electronic tablets a lot is really harmful for our child and we need to encourage them to get involve in physical activities as much as they can.

  5. Hi Sarah,

    Great post! really nailed it. I get so frustrated when I see even my own family, kids being given an ipad to shut them up. I think its crazy and I do worry where we will be in 10 years. As you say there are advantages to technology for kids for sure and I wish I had it growing up in some instances, but I think the way parents use it as a tool to shut kids up will come back to bite them.

    As you say kids get everything online instantly and this carrys over to offline and will cause issues. Lets hope parents take your tips you give onboard and get some real balance for their children. Cheers,

    Kev 🙂

    • Hi Kevin, thank you for sharing your views in this very important and common issue, technology has taken over most of our healthy time, we cannot avoid using it but we can definitely limit out use and try to live as healthy as possible.

  6. Hi Sarah,
    You have written what is happening exactly now a days, even if we try to make them come out and play to distract them away from TV or mobile, they are least interested. Great points here, I love these last lines,

    “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….” Thanks.

    • Hi Kanakadurga, thank you so much for sharing your views. It is so true that kids now a days are so much into gadgets and technology and dont want to play physical games and this is very alarming. True relationships should not be replaced by virtual ones. I am glad that you agree with this, thank you.

  7. I was watching some scientific experiment recently about kids brains on technology and it showed the same results as someone who was addicted to heroine!

    It’s a pretty scary prospect that if you don’t get that balance right early on, it could lead to some serious issues later on down the line, like you said in regards to social, physical and mental wellbeing. \

    Thanks for the great article:)

    • Hi Jeremy, thank you so much for sharing your comments on this very common issue now a days and too much use of electronic devices does deteriorate our mental and physical health so we have to find a proper balance between everything we do.

  8. My grandson watches educational videos on his mom’s iPad, but she limits his time on it just for the reasons you stated above. You’ve offered a great list of advantages and disadvantages here. Very informative and I will share this with my daughter.

    • Hi Tammy, thank you for sharing your views on this very common issue now a days. Kids do watch educational videos but for a limited time is ok, we have to make sure that most of their time is full of physical activities and learning.

  9. Hey Sarah,
    You touched on an interesting subject here. I am 24 years old I feel as though my generation was the last to experience life without major technological advances. Although I see the pros of technology, I can see it’s anti social effects on my brother who is 16. Where my childhood was filed with lots of walking and outside activities, his was inside next to a tv screen and game console. Safe to assume I’m the “extroverted” child and he is way more introverted..coincidence? I don’t think so haha Scary to think it’s only going to get worse!

    • Hi Dwight, I appreciate your comments on this article. Technology do have pros but also very hazardous if we use it all the time without being physically active.

  10. I agree, that limiting kids on devices is huge. The issue in todays world is we are so zoned out because of our devices. And kids being super open to programming at an early stage, can develop such bad habits that are hard to break. This really was an eye opener. Thank you.

    • Hi AJ, now a days our kids use electronic devices a lot and this is not good at all. Limited use should be practiced in order to encourage them to play physical games. Playing physically and talking to family and friends rather than virtual people is so important.

  11. This is really a great post. I kind of lean toward not relying on technology to keep my kids busy, or for a learning too. I think that there are so many age specific toys that have all the benefits and more. And like you say, nothing should replace story telling. As always, great information!

    • Hi Stefanie and Matts Mom, thank you for taking some time our to read my post and for leaving your kind comments here. We cannot totally neglect these gadgets, as they provide our kids with a lot of learning opportunities but a balanced approach should be practiced. Unlimited use can cause a lot of health issues.

  12. Hi Sarah, wow, how absolutely right you are about all of this. Too much time on social media, phones, tablets or screen time in general does make you feel isolated and depressed. I have felt these things for myself some days so it must be even worse if you are like it as a kid. Luckily these things weren’t invented when I was growing up and I did normal kid things.
    However, this is normal now and I see it in my nephews every day. They love technology and seem to understand it without being shown, but it must be monitored like you say. It can be great for some things but bad for others so it is important to find a happy medium.

  13. Great interesting topic. With all the technology we have nowadays, it’s a different time. In the early days we played outside and had no electrical devices. It has its pros and cons. Thank you for sharing.

  14. Hi Sarah, Another great post from you. I enjoy reading all the great common sense in your posts. I also worry about the over use of technology for young children. You hardly ever see them playing outside any more. I love my computer and mobile phone but when I visit with my family put them away and play with lego with my grand-son. He loves this as at 4 he can teach his Granny how to build lots of great things. So good for finer motor movements and concentration. He gets so absorbed in this and forgets to ask to watch his favorite programs. I can see that playing on line games can take a hold of children very easily. Gone are the days of skipping, climbing trees, kicking a ball around, it is all computer generated games now. Such a great pity. The children lose out on so much fun.

  15. This is a very good post. I run a website dedicated to headphones and headsets and one of the things doctors have been saying for years now is the damage to children’s hearing due to headphone use. There’s things you can do about, which I mention on my site, but it’s definitely a big concern.

  16. This is a very good article. I have a four year old daughter who loves to use the iPad. There are a lot of great things about it: ABC mouse, painting pad, as you said about hand eye coordination. And there are the downsides which I see and they are all touched upon in your article. One thing I noticed is how she has trouble expressing herself in normal acts of communication when she is angry. This actually goes all the way up to teenagers too. The more time they spend on devices, the less they are able to speak their feelings.
    I like the 1 hour a day rule. I’m sure my daughter gets a couple extra hours in some days.

  17. As a grandmother, I worry about kids spending much time on these devices. I worry that it doesn’t help them to learn the social skills they will need in the world. However, technology will continue to grow. So we may as well embrace it. Like you said, it is important to have a nice balance. There can be time for everything.

  18. You have written a great article here! I agree that technology should be used just as a tool nothing else. In order to have fun, we should teach our kids some old “technologies” we used. Nothing beats fresh air and outdoor activity, or hanging out with your family and friends and spending quality time together. Once again great stuff! Keep up the good work. All the best,
    Ivan

    • Hi Ivan, thank you so much for sharing your views on this post. I agree with you, nothing can beats physical activity and fresh air and yes, hanging out and spending good time with friends is also very important. That’s why we have to minimize the time period of using electronic devices. to stay healthy and fit.

  19. Hi Sarah, great points here. The key is balance isn’t it? I was personally very worried about exposing my kids to a tablet at a young age for exactly the reasons you’ve mentioned above.
    What annoys me sometimes is how some parents tend to use the tablet as a means of distracting the child. I guess its ok once in a while but this sort of thing can easily become a habit and should be guarded against.

  20. Well, you´ve picked a tough topic here! The amount of kids I see glued to screens is horrible. It´s quite sad how such devices are being used to simply keep them quiet. I barely see any kids playing games that at least are benefical for their education.

    Speaking of that: I think very limited use after a certain age is okay, do you have any recommendations for games?

    Thank you!

  21. wow what a great article! i agree with you, i also think that everything should be in moderation, we can teach our kids both old and new “technology”.
    very interesting topic. thanks for sharing!

  22. This is a very needed article. Never saw this site before, but there is a lot of helpful information for parents. Thanks for posting this! Yes, tablets and other devices I do not think are good for children under a certain age; and they really shouldn’t be used too much at any age–but especially under 5 years. In fact, I had read years ago that even watching television is not good for children under 5 years old–and that they shouldn’t even watch tv before then. They should be interacting with real things in the real physical world. Screens are very bad for their eyes at that age especially. Wish more people would read this article. Thanks again for sharing this information.

  23. Hi Sarah! This is some great info, especially for these times. There is just so much that we ignore about technology and sometimes it seems like an “easy” way to keep children ocuppied. As an older sister of a 5 year old I will take your advice into practice.

  24. This is great site about kids and parenting as well.
    Technology nowadays has been playing a big part of our children’s development. I can still recall when we were kids, we used to play outside with my siblings or with my neighbors. At present we seldom see kids playing outside doing physical activities. What is alarming is that even a one year baby can already access these technology. It is recommended for parents to control their activities and encourage them to do physical activities. As with any technological advancements, there would always be drawbacks. It is up to is how to utilize it properly.

  25. As a Speech Pathologist who worked in a children’s hospital for two years, I completely agree with this article. Technology can be great and really help children. I have noticed that children with behavioral issues tend to be “technology dependent” – meaning they can’t separate from their device to complete non-technology tasks. It is definitely a barrier to treatment!

    I think a site like this that spreads the word on moderating technology use with young minds is a great idea. Parents too become dependent on the quick fix of the Ipad/tablet to sooth an upset child. It’s easy for both parties but it hurts the child’s long term skills.

  26. This is an excellent article. As the father of 4 kids I am very aware of the how difficult it is to balance technology use. I find that setting rules early (and consistently applying them) is very helpful. My wife and I noticed that as the kids were growing, the use of technology became ubiquitous in the house. They would bring their tablets or cell phones to the table during breakfast, lunch and dinner!!!! That was not acceptable so we set the rule that they could not bring their devices during meals. That change alone increased family communication 10 fold!
    One day, two of them were sitting side by side on the couch watching something on their phones. I asked them what they were doing and they told me that they were watching a show. Come to find out they were watching the same show “together”. This blew my mind. They were each watching a show on a 5 inch screen, sitting on the same couch, when they have a 40 inch tv in the same room! We now instituted movie night, game night where we spend time as a family and where no devices are allowed.
    It is a struggle because electronics and gadgets are everywhere. But it is important to do what we can as parents to make sure our kids maintain a human bond with family and others

  27. Hi great read and definitely understand my 3 year old loves watching anything on the iPad, he could stay on it all day, he has learnt the alphabet and numbers so that’s a big tick but he can just stay on it for far to long.

    Thanks

  28. Totally agree!
    If children does not develop their abilities in the first years,
    then it can be a big problem later.
    First they should learn to bound with other people and communicate
    Just because humans are social beings …
    Congrats for the very well covered topic, very educative

  29. A very good article, Sarah, and one much needed I know how important it is to limit your child from being on tablets. Another thing that continuous use of bright screens can help cause seizures in people. I got a grandson that has seizures and the doctor said no more than 2 hours a day. This is a serious topic and should be thought of that way.

  30. Hi Sarah, thanks for sharing this information. As a granny I am very concerned about the amount of time the kids spend on their ipads, and think it is important for parents to control it. Thanks for a great article, will share this with my daughter!

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