n this time of Coronavirus, most of the world is under some form of lockdown. It’s a tough situation for everybody, but one that is especially hard for children. Children’s screen time, which was already a concern in regards to a child’s development, will be making an even bigger impact on their young minds during the quarantine.
In Spain, children have not been allowed to leave their homes for almost 6 weeks. Other countries have had less drastic measures in place, but the mental toll of the confinement is one that thousands of youngsters are struggling with.
With nowhere to go and very little to do inside the same four walls every day, the use of phones, tablets, and home computers has undoubtedly gone up.
On the one hand, it’s a blessing that technology now gives children plenty of options for entertainment. But is all of this tech hurting the long-term development of children?
Children’s Screen Time Impact
One of the big dangers of too much technology for children’s development is that their online interactions leave them less inclined to interact with their parents and peers in the real world.
Many children can now be seen with their heads permanently buried in their mobile devices. The positives of the online world are immense, but these should not come at the expense of alienating children from the living and breathing world all around them. Children’s screen time should be monitored and encouraged along with time interacting with others or playing outside.
Danger to health
In the same way that an over-reliance on technology can see children develop problems with how they interact with the real world, too much technology can also lead to a disinterest in sports and other outdoor activities.
If children’s screen time is excessive, it can lead to inaction and laziness. Children who simply sit around all day are much more likely to suffer from health issues such as becoming overweight.
To combat this, parents must take the lead by restricting the time spent on devices and also play an active role in getting their children out and about.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where there are a lot of sick people. Giving children access to social media can help them grow up and feel mature, but it also exposes them to the danger of being targetted by a predator.
Many depraved individuals create false accounts and pretend to be children to make friends with and gain the trust of actual children. The consequences of this can be terrible with predators grooming children for their sexual desires.
For this reason, parents must be very vigilant of exactly who it is their children are interacting with online.
Impacting on sleep
A recent study discovered a link between the overuse of mobile devices with an impact on sleep quality and quantity.
The problems of this are obvious. If a child does not get enough sleep they miss out on a lot of the essential work that the brain wants to do during this downtime.
Children who don’t sleep enough will not have enough mental or physical energy to wake up fresh for the new day.
Parents can try to combat this by banning mobiles and tablets from the bedroom at night and by not allowing any usage in the time directly before bedtime.
In all of the examples where the negative effects of technology could impact a child’s development, it always left with the parents to ensure that these problems don’t manifest in their own children.
Recent advances in the accessibility to technology have had a huge positive impact on the whole world, but parents must remain aware of the negative aspects this can bring too, especially now when there is so little to do on lockdown.