Published on Jan 24, 2019 - 2 min read
This article discusses the use of smartphones and iPads in children, the problems involved, and some suggestions to manage them.
Children today have something dominating their everyday life, which was not present even a generation ago. Many parents are perplexed and confused about how to handle this new phenomenon. I am referring to the ubiquitous gadgets like smartphones, tablets, iPad, and PlayStation, which can be fun and stimulating. But, they are also potentially harmful devices which need to be managed sensibly.
Children find these devices fascinating. They play games and watch videos. Older children and adolescents use them for social media to stay connected to their friends and peers. While there is no doubt that these devices are helpful, we also need to be mindful of their deleterious effects.
Many parents ask me ‘how much screen time is okay?’ No definite answer can be applied universally to all children. Some guidance says that there is little evidence to show that screen use for children is harmful in itself. However, there has been another recent study to show that children's psychological well-being starts to deteriorate after an average of 1 hour of screen viewing per day.
If these devices are used appropriately, it will develop a child’s knowledge and help them in staying connected positively. Unsupervised and unregulated screen time can harm a child’s development and prevent them from having real-life experiences. Parents should make sure children’s sleep, exercise, and family time is not compromised by excessive screen time.
These devices have become an inevitable part of modern life. Parents simply cannot ban these from their children’s lives, as invariably, they will have access to smartphones through friends and peers. We can try and inculcate sensible use of these devices from an early age.
Suggestions to Manage Screen Time (Including Television):
To sum up, these screen devices are like a double-edged sword. It is the duty and responsibility of parents to teach their children about how to use these devices safely.
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