Sunday April 26, 2020
Whether we like it or not, technology is taking over more and more of our lives and that is starting to creep into the lives of our children. Many of us are worried that our kids are spending too much time on electronic devices like smartphones, TVs, and video game systems. But you may actually be surprised by just how beneficial it is to limit the amount of time your kids spend staring at screens.
Let’s look at the realities of limiting your kid’s screen time:
One of the biggest areas of concern is that we are turning out a generation of couch potatoes. But there actually seems to be some cause for alarm. A sedentary lifestyle has helped contribute to an obesity problem in the United States.
By limiting your children’s screen time (including TV time), you are encouraging them to get out and be more active. Studies have shown that reduced screen time can improve a person’s BMI (body mass index). But it goes even further than weight gain/loss.
Another big physical issue is better sleep. Our children need more restful sleep than adults do. Staring at screens just before bedtime has been shown to leave the brain active and unable to rest, causing children to have problems sleeping.
Another big issue for many people hooked on screen time is a lack of interpersonal social skills. Many people seem more comfortable holding a text conversation than they are able to hold a face-to-face one. Instead of allowing your children to use electronic devices at dinner, insist that everyone sit together without technology and actually talk to each other. You will be amazed at how much closeness you will promote with your children.
Lastly, there is also a connection between too much screen time and academic achievement. This goes beyond just not getting homework done because of spending too much time on video games. Kids are now carrying computers in their pockets in the form of smartphones. Many are not unplugging even when they go to school and spend class time sneaking text messages or phasing out with wireless headphones and YouTube videos. All of this can seriously hurt your child’s academic standing.
It’s becoming apparent that too much screen time can be a bad thing. This is like any good or positive thing in our lives—too much of it can be bad. But by cutting back on your child’s screen time, you can have a positive impact on his or her life, both now and for years to come.
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