Could Electronics Be Affecting Your Child’s Health ?

 WE HAVE all play on our phones and laptops while with our kids. Whether it’s a quick text or a social media post, it can be difficult put the electronics down. We are guilty of it, ( call a thing a thing) and be honest. And some nannies are guilty of it( Excellent Nannies understands that ‘s a HUGE NO for me). But in reality, our email and Facebook can wait – especially if it means setting a good example for our children and protecting their health, since increased screen time is associated with higher rates of childhood obesity, , bad tempers, behavior problems, ADHD, poor sleep quality, poor physical activity and poor school performance.

Multiple studies have shown that as parents increase their screen time (whether it be smart phones, TV, computers, video games), their children do the same. Our children are constantly learning from us and following in our footsteps. When we focus on a screen instead of our child, we are sending a message that says, “My phone or the TV is more interesting than you.”  ( NOT on purpose) Parents often ask me why kids are so interested in our smartphones and tablets, and it’s because from the day they’re born, they see us glued to these devices. In turn, children are fascinated by electronics and want to use them, too.

Loss of Social Skills

Kids who spend too much time with electronics lack in normal social skills that are needed to help them develop into a well-rounded adult. While kids know their way around keypads, they don’t know how to talk one-on-one to another person. Social skills, people skills and the ability to interact with others of all ages is lacking in kids who spend too much interacting with an electronic device and have limited face time with people.

By not developing the ability to interact with others face-to-face, future adult relationships for the child will be impeded. Employment, romance, friendships and simple social etiquette will be limited and awkward if a child never develops normal social skills.

Aggression

Ask any child what their favorite video game is and in all probability it will involve violence. Even very young kids are drawn to games that use weapons to kill. The more violent and bloody, the more popular the video game typically becomes.

That translates into aggression as the child becomes a teenager. Studies show that teens who spend a lot of time watching violent TV shows and/or playing violent video games are far more likely to be aggressive both in the home and at school. These aggressive teens fight with their siblings and peers, argue with teachers and parents and just always seems to be an outburst waiting to happen.

Obesity

The use of any device with an electronic screen seems to require the need to sit down, or at least be still, while using. The sedentary nature, combined with ads for high-calorie junk food, often leads to childhood obesity. Children are naturally full of energy and have an inborn need to run, jump and otherwise be active. When that normal desire to be active is curtailed and they sit on their haunches for hours on end, they will become overweight.

Here’s some things that we can do to change the addictions to electronics for our children

Remove the TV from the bedroom. Take the TV out of your room and your child’s room. Screen time at bedtime has been shown to influence sleep patterns and lead to less sleep and increased behavior problems.

Ban electronics from the dinner table. Make mealtime an electronics-free zone – no TV, no smartphone, no tablet on the table. Eating with screens on makes you more likely to consume more calories and less likely to have a conversation with your child. Take the time to find out what happened in your child’s day instead of reading posts about what’s happening in other people’s lives.

Put limitations on screen time. Limit as much screen time as possible – ideally no more than 30 minutes to one hour per day. The more our children use electronics, the less physical activity they do. Fight the boredom by making a list of things to do to keep the kids occupied.

Set aside play time. Show your child he or she is more important than the screen, and do things the old-fashioned way. Play with your kids, and let their imaginations run wild. Take them to the park, a museum or help them build a fort in the living room.

 

LET’S GET SOCIAL!