Children Development and Gadgets: What Are the Risks
Today, we cannot even imagine our lives without computers and smartphones. Moreover, our children too cannot live without them. They even can hardly imagine that only a few decades ago, in our childhood, a PC was a rare thing to find in households, and the first mobile phones couldn't take photos or connect to the Internet. But times are changing, and today, psychologists and family advisors alarm society with the overuse of gadgets by children.
Most families are also concerned about that phenomenon and try their best to get their kids off the screen. Some use strict home rules to schedule and limit app time. Others apply technologies to get the result. They use some kinds of child locks and special applications to monitor screen time and provide time control on kids' devices.
Yet, let's enclose all the hazards of extra time your kids spend with their gadgets.
Some Stats: How Much Time Children Spend With Gadgets
There were several pieces of research dedicated to time control for children and their gadgets. The results are quite sad.
- On average, toddlers (2-4 years) spend 2.5+ hours with their phones, tablets, or gamepads per day.
- For kids of 5-8 years, this indicator is even higher. They spend more than 3 hours a day looking at the screens of their devices.
Most toddlers and younger students use their gadgets on their own, and parents don't always use child filters for them or even try to limit app time. Moreover, not all parents know what sites their children visit, what videos they watch, and with whom they communicate on the global network. As a result, lots of issues of cyberbullying and cyber crimes related to children arouse in 2022.
Main Risks of Overusing Gadgets for Children
Why should parents provide kid monitoring at all? There are several reasons for that and the most important is to keep safe your kids from all the dangers that the Internet contains, and there are lots of them, by the way. We've highlighted 5 main reasons why you should protect children from overuse of their gadgets.
- Using gadgets for a long time negatively impact eyes health. Besides the fact that screen flicker frequency even in the top-rated devices is dangerous for eyes, in children, this negative impact is even higher because a child's eyes are only developing and the impact of electronics interferes with that process.
- Using gadgets for a long time can impact negatively the psyche of a kid. Especially if your child has a naturally labile psyche and emotional nature. Psychologists say that even harmless content like classic Disney animations can impact the psyche and lead to its disorders.
- Using gadgets, children often do not follow the rules of a healthy position of the spine. Children spend time on gadgets sitting, lying down, while eating, on the go, or just in an uncomfortable position. This can eventually lead to manifestations of poor posture and serious diseases of the spine.
- Besides health problems, there are also hazards in the content that requires child protection from it. Are you sure that your kids are not watching offensive or prohibited content when they use apps or surf websites? Even if you install a simple parental guide on their devices, they can get around the ban.
- Fraudsters and bullies are always preying on someone who is weaker. Your child can become their target too. Do not forget that paedophilia and bullying are not rare in the global network. And if your kid is too trusting, he can become a victim of fraudsters or thieves.
How do you think, are these reasons considerable enough to change your attitude towards the constant use of gadgets by your children? If yes, then, it's time to talk a bit about the methods of how to provide a kid guard for your children's gadgets.
How to Manage Kids' Time With Gadgets
The first and most important thing to do is to create trustful relationships with your kids. When they trust you, you can simply talk to them and explain the importance of digital hygiene and time control to them. You can talk sincerely and explain in simple words what dangers the Internet and gadgets contain.
But the only trust sometimes will be not enough. Thus, you can use technology tools to provide child control. For example, you can use special apps like Parental Control or its analogs that help to manage time and adjustments on kids' devices. Do not forget also to set limits on YouTube or just install on their devices a special version of this platform (YouTube Kids).
The most effective way to get your children off the screen of their phones is to create for them a schedule full of useful and interesting activities that will include sports, family entertainment, outdoor activities, hobbies, or classes they may like.
The combination of these three methods will bring you results. Just remember that simply scolding children for their extra gadget time will not work. Be smarter and apply working methods to reduce the overuse of gadgets in your children.
We have firmly entered the era of gadgets, when a smartphone in the hands of a child no longer surprises anyone. Not only wealthy families, but also parents with modest income equip their kids with the means of communication more often, because when done right, they bring benefits ranging from increased child safety to new opportunities for learning and development. The main difficulty lies in the competent organization of interaction with an electronic toy in order to make a smartphone for a kid a guard and assistant, but not a new source of danger.
According to research, the use of gadgets such as tablets and smartphones at an early age has negative consequences for the overall development of children under 6 years of age. Let's find out in more detail what danger gadgets pose for the development of children.