Children these days are often introduced to the Internet and other newer technologies from an early age. This can impact their development in several ways. While there is a lot of focus on how technology can be bad for kids, it also has some benefits.
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Disadvantages of using technology in children
The World Health Organization recommends that children at least 2 years old, but under 5 years old, spend no more than an hour a day in front of a screen and that less is more.
This is because young children are expected to be active and learn about the characteristics of the surrounding environment. Physical activity is also important for overall development, and you should always make sure that your kids stay active, regardless of their tech-consuming habits.
The brain develops very quickly in young children, and some experts believe that the lack of eye contact and the absorption of information from a screen may hinder natural development somewhat. Screens can make it harder for children to get used to interacting with their peers and parents, which could affect their language and emotional development.
A recent study used MRI scans to find that children aged 3 to 5 had less development in areas related to language, literacy, and the development of cognitive skills. This period in a person’s life is when it develops the fastest. Young children absorb information and have great brain plasticity as they form connections that will last a lifetime. It is important that they are able to form the appropriate connections to promote healthy brain growth.
Another study found that a 2-year-old who spends more time in front of a screen is likely to have deteriorated motor, communication and problem-solving skills than those who do not spend too much time in front of a screen. screen. At this age, children are expected to interact with their parents and siblings as the primary form of stimulation.
Benefits of using technology in children
There are also some advantages to using technology, even with children. First, screen time can help them relax and unwind. When a child gets upset, it can sometimes be very difficult for them to relax, especially if bedtime is around the corner. Having 15 minutes of screen time to relax can be beneficial for some.
Technology is also important for most careers, and education systems also use technological systems. Learning to use technology at a young age can increase tech skills and help them learn other aspects of computers and Internet use in the future.
There are also educational games and virtual books that could be useful in teaching certain things to children. Although a child also needs other education from his parents and at school, he can learn on his own using a tablet or phone, which can be helpful. beneficial in several ways. They might learn things that they might not have learned otherwise, or they may find that they enjoy researching or learning information on their own more than they do in school.
A picture book on a tablet can also be more appealing than a traditional storybook. If your child is not interested in your bedtime stories, you can try changing them up using a virtual story. Some of them even have moving images that correlate with the part of the story you are reading.
Finally, there are actually studies that show that there may not be a negative impact of screen time on a child’s mental health. Others find that the impact is not enough to worry about their screen time.
Tips for parents
Everyone is a parent differently, but there are some things you can keep in mind to help make healthy use of technology with your children. The technology itself is not a problem, only the ways in which it is used. Hence, you need to make sure that your kids are using technology in a healthy way.
One thing you can do to try and help your children recognize when they are using too much technology. Try to encourage them to take frequent breaks and stay active. You can even use some games on your phone to actively play. Some games even have a built-in activity.
You should also try to model a healthy use of technology yourself. If you’re still on the phone telling them that they shouldn’t be, it doesn’t really leave the impression that you would like on the child.
Plus, talk to your kids while they’re watching a video or show. By communicating and talking about what’s going on in the video or show, you help them understand and learn while also helping them with their communication skills.
Another way to limit screen time is to pick up personal devices at certain times, such as lunch or dinner time, and before bed. Then you can leave them charging in your bedroom to make sure your child doesn’t use their device overnight.
Technology is not inherently bad, but unhealthy use can negatively impact the well-being of children and adults. However, there are also beneficial and healthy ways to use technology, even if a child is watching a video on a tablet. Try to make sure that a child’s screen time is beneficial and that they understand what they are watching. You should also encourage them to stay active throughout the day and week.