Most parents lend their iPhones or iPads to their children so that their little munchkins would stop fussing. However, it’s not the ideal scenario when a busy parent hands over a gadget to a child so that the kid will become occupied. Additionally, due to the constant demand of child-friendly apps in the market, parents debate on whether it’s alright to give their smartphones to children.
A shocking percentage of familiesshow that children ages 18 months to 5 years old are already playing with gadgets whenever their parents are off to work or do chores. Leaving it in their hands for a couple of hours has adverse effects on their growth and development.But once children are older, the demand to have a gadget is imperative.
Harmful effects of giving gadgets too early
Handing the device a little bit early might be detrimental to their development. It will sway their social interactions, language and brain development, as well as physical growth.
Research links language and speech delays to early gadget usage. It will suspend the child’s learning on how to speak or make sounds when they’re glued to an animatedbot device.
Change in patience and attitude.Technology has made things easier for us and provides instant gratification when things work quickly and smoothly. In the real world, there will always be delays and issues. Children who are too young to grasp that idea will throw tantrums, attitude, and lots of bawling around the whole day.
Early eye problems.Children at two to three years old are still developing their eyesight, and the risk of having a gadget will increase the probability of having eye problems.
Put a strain on child and parent relationship. Children bond with their parents through storytelling, hug, and play. When that’s absent in the early stages of childhood, it will put some tension between a parent and the kid.
Gadget turns out to be the first addiction. When a child is addicted to one thing, their relationships, school, learning and development will all fall out of places.
Child obesity. When your child is lounging all day on a couch or bed, without any amount of exercise or activity taken in a day, he will grow fat. The scariest part is the possibility of early childhood diabetes as well.Try placing children within 18 to36 months in a jumper where they can actively play and exercise at the same time.
How to lessen screen time?
If you need to have your child carry a smartphone with him, you have to limit his usage and screen time. Most experts believe that babies up to three years old are allowed to have screen time for a couple of minutes only especially when communicating with a family through video.
Put limit to phone use
18 months to 3 years old: 15 minutes
4 to 7 years old: 30 minutes
8 to 12 years old:45 minutes to 1 hour
12+: 2 hours
Engage in healthy activities
Provide real games that will challenge your kid to an exercise game, mental board games, arts and crafts and more. That way, your child will have fun and can learn too!