Screen time has become a serious issue with many families feeling that the amount of screen time that their children in front of the screen has gotten out of hand and become detrimental to their health.
Some of the most common issues with screen time are increased sedentary lifestyle, anti-social behavior, disturbed sleep patterns, lack of focus and distracted mind.
The most notable issues with children spending too much time in front of screens, whether it is a TV, iPad, computer or game console is that the child is sedentary – missing out of active movement and being outdoors.
Healthy children need to be active, being active whether it is running, swimming, playing a sport like tennis or soccer is great for kids. A healthy body promotes brain development, memory, releases feel good hormones, increases oxygen to the brain essential for your child’s development. Further benefits of exercise and real activity include the builds up good habits, friendships and creativity.
A growing body needs rest, many parents report that their child does not go to bed on time or is using a screen in bed. The harm may be several fold, the light from the screen keeps your child awake longer, the mind is stimulated and takes long to settle and sleep. Sleep is essential for growing bodies and minds to reach their full potential.
Lack of focus and distracted minds can be both caused by screens. Content on the screen can continuously stimulate the brain releasing the reward chemical dopamine. The release of the dopamine chemical creates an association with the screen and creates a feedback loop. This may cause your child to want to spend more time with the screen have trouble focusing on the task at hand as they seek to be distracted by the screen.
You can take control of screen time in your family by setting rules, applying them evenly and firmly all the time. Use parental controls commonly built into applications and gadgets and by using tools such as Pixel Pounds.