Too Much Screen Time Causes Behavioral Problems in Kids
We know that too much time spent on social media and with technology can have a negative impact on physical and mental health in adults, and that children who spend hours glued to screens don’t get better results. A new study from the University of Michigan CS Mott Children’s Hospital shows that the amount of time parents spend staring at their own screens has an adverse impact on the mental health and development of their children.
What the researchers found was that the more time parents spent on their phones and other devices (even TVs), the less interaction they had with their children. When a child’s time spent with their parents is interrupted by technology, the child feels frustrated and unimportant. This then causes the child to feel the need to act to regain lost attention, most often in a negative way.
What Does the Study Warn?
The study looked at 170 two-parent homes in the United States with children older than three years. Parents were asked about their personal use of smartphones, laptops, tablets and more: How they use it, when they use it, for how long, with research focused primarily on how use interferes with family time, such as checking text at dinner. or during playtime.
Parents in the study were also asked to remember how often their child was whining, hyperactive, irritable or short-tempered, or generally misbehaved or misbehaved during the past two months. After adjusting for stress, anxiety, income, education, and other parent-related factors, the study found that even a small number of impairments in parent-child engagement due to technology were associated with children’s behavioral problems.
Although the researchers maintain that they cannot assume a direct correlation between children’s behavior and their parents’ level of technology use, they do agree that there must be a relationship, particularly between children and their mothers.
Other Health Effects of Too Much Screen Time
It is clear that spending too much time online compared to the real world has a detrimental effect on the health and well-being of adults, youth and children. Some of the other negative impacts of spending a lot of time on our devices are:
– Vision and eye health
– Mental health and depression
– Cardiovascular health and increased risk of diabetes
– Neck, back and other musculoskeletal problems due to poor posture
– Brain development and learning problems
– Attention deficit problem
– Sleep problems
Despite all the positive attributes to technology, it’s clear that letting it consume your life is bad for the mental, physical, and emotional health of your entire family. The question then remains how to keep reaping the benefits of technology without letting it get in the way of a happy and healthy home. (2, 3)
How to Protect Yourself and Your Family from the Negative Effects of Excessive Use of Technology
As already mentioned, technology isn’t all bad, but when it starts to take away meaningful interactions with your kids, something needs to change. There are many ways you can continue to enjoy technology without taking up your family’s time
Limit screen time for everyone.
Many parents limit the amount of time spent in front of the computer or in front of the TV for their children, but what about themselves? Create rules for everyone in the house, including yourself, and stick to them, ensuring that each day you have uninterrupted quality time with your children
No telephone at the dining table.
Dinner time is often one of the few times busy families spend each day chatting, educating, and sharing stories about their day. Having a phone, TV, or other form of technology at the table causes distraction and hinders important conversations.
Choose other activities besides movies.
While family movie nights are fun and can be a fun way to spend a quiet evening, the truth is that watching movies doesn’t encourage conversation or interaction. Instead, why not replace family movie nights with game nights? Not only does this provide more opportunities for parents and children to talk, but it also helps build family traditions and memories that will last far longer than a film.
Get out… and leave the phone at home!
Take time every weekend to get out and do something with the family, whether it’s a walk, a ball in the park, or bowling or indoor mini-golf if the weather isn’t favorable and leave any form of technology at home, or at least in the car. With no option to check texts, emails or Instagram feeds, everyone is free to be fully present in the moment and enjoy each other’s company.
Put the phone on the plane without going anywhere.
If you find it really hard to ignore your phone every time you hear a “ping!”, set it to airplane mode or silent at least until the kids finish their homework or go to bed.
Source: healthy-holistic life