In today’s world, screen time is a hot topic. It’s understandable that there might be concerns given all of the gadgets that have screens. Phones, TVs, laptops, tablets, and even our cars have displays, but does too much screen time harm our children? Controlling screen time might be difficult as screens are everywhere. According to some major health groups, we should certainly pay greater attention to the negative consequences of screen time on children, particularly those under the age of five.Early childhood is a time of rapid development and adaptation of family living patterns to improve health. So, why should we change our lifestyle to limit our children’s screen time? What are the side effects of screen time on children? How does it affect the children’s conscious and subconscious minds? How can screen time be controlled for children? In this post, we will provide you with the answers to these questions.
Screen Time means less Green Time
So the first reason is self-evident. Being in front of a screen means children are ignorant to their surroundings. Nature has a significant impact on our daily lives. Have you ever been anxious and then gone for a walk on your favorite beach and felt instantly better? It’s the same way. When children connect with nature, it has been shown to alleviate stress, reduce aggression, and aid in subsequent focus. This means that the more time kids spend in front of the screen, the less time they have to enjoy natural mood enhancers and develop good outdoor play habits. Experts go on to warn that screen time might have the exact opposite effect on aggressive behavior and focus as nature does.
Whereas nature soothes and relaxes, too much screen time can raise stress levels and trigger a depression feedback loop. Not only that, but when a child’s ability to focus is impaired, they are unable to react appropriately with the world around them, which may lead them to lash out more frequently. According to studies, screen time consumes a significant portion of a child’s brain energy. Getting furious is a quick and easy method to reclaim that lost energy, and it will gradually become their coping mechanism. Getting furious will provide them with the mental energy boost they require when they need it. In other words, expect more and more frequent meltdowns.
Too Much Screen Time Can Make Kids Unhappy
Children’s brains are still developing while they are young, and studies show that exposure to screens can (and probably will) harm them. This is especially true when it comes to video games. This is aimed at children aged 8 to 18 who are exposed to screens on a “regular” basis, which is roughly 7 hours per day. When it comes to addiction and gaming, the main side effects of too much screen time are said to include emotion regulation, decision making, cognitive control, and the capacity to focus one’s attention.
Not only that, but games also flood the brain with dopamine, a feel-good hormone. The problem with having so much dopamine is that the reward circuits that accept it and make us feel good get fatigued and worn out far faster than they should. This means that the children who are afflicted will have to work much harder in order to be happy. Dopamine also aids motivation and concentration.
Screen Time Reduces Dream Time
We’re sure you’ve heard about how your phone can interfere with your sleep at some time. Especially if you stay up all night scrolling through Instagram. The same approach can be extended to children as well. Just two hours of screen use at full brightness can decrease the hormone melatonin, which helps us fall asleep. Melatonin is the hormone that makes you tired, and if you don’t feel drowsy, you won’t fall asleep. Chronic disturbance of your circadian rhythm (your body’s natural sleep and wake cycle) can have major consequences for your health.
The other issue is that if this cycle is disturbed, even if you do fall asleep, it will not be the deep restorative sleep you need to wake up feeling refreshed. We all know how exhausted kids can be, and no one wants it to be the norm.
Check out this post to learn more about what happens to your body while you fall asleep.
What is the science of sleep : Tips for better sleep
So, all of those things are a little frightening, so what can you do to help your family stay healthy in this vast technological world?
How screen time for children can be controlled?
Well for starters there are some guidelines:
- Infants under the age of one year should be active throughout the day, engaging in activities such as floor play and tummy time when awake.
- When they’re awake for more than one hour each day, they shouldn’t be stationary or strapped into a seat. Strollers, high chairs, and being strapped to someone are examples of this.
- It’s also a good idea to read to the infant when they’re still. After all, the best stories are told after bedtime. For children under the age of four, the rules are similar, though they should be active for at least three hours each day. Playing, running, and walking are all examples of activities that get them up and moving.
- We all know that little ones should not be still for longer than an hour every day. When it comes to screen time, children are usually rather still. This leads us to assume that children should spend no more than an hour every day in front of a screen.
- You should also establish certain screen time limitations, in addition to things like video conferencing with grandparents and friends. For infants under the age of 24 months, no screen time is recommended (except for video calls, as previously indicated), and for children ages 2 to 5, an hour of screen time per day is sufficient.
- You should also keep an eye on what your child is watching to ensure that the content is age-appropriate, educational, and contains little advertising. However, each household is unique, and it is ultimately up to you to choose what works and what does not. We’re simply stating the facts. You can plan your time accordingly.
The bottom line
Well, these are the dangerous side effects of screen time on children and these are reasons why screen time should be controlled for children? However, with the above-mentioned techniques, you can control screen time for your children.
I hope you have learned something beneficial from this article. For more articles, visit our website.