Does Technology Affect Children’s Mental Health – The time has changed. We are living in a time period in which technology predominates in all areas. Today’s children are practically born with a technological object in their hands. From a young age, they acquire that familiarity with objects such as tablets or smartphones and use them daily at an early age.
Often, it is the same adults who promote the use of this technology in their children because it manages to “calm them down” and thus stay busy for a long time.
But do we know what the impact of the use of these elements during childhood is?
The American and Canadian Pediatric Society states that babies from 0 to 2 years old should not contact portable devices (cell phones, tablets, electronic games).
In children from 3 to 5 years, the use of these devices should be limited to 1-hour maximum, while those from 6 to 18 years to 2 hours per day.
Exceeding the recommended hours can have extremely harmful consequences on the infant’s development.
According to this study’s outcome, Internet consumption increases as age increases. 25% of children between 9 and 19 years old enter the web several times a day, but this group exceeds 30% in adolescents between 14 and 17.
The numbers increase on the weekends where half of the children spend 5 hours or more on the Internet.
On the other hand, according to a recent study by VTR Safe Internet, 1 in 3 children has had access to a cell phone or tablet; while at five years, 1 in 2 already has their own tablet, and 40% have a cell phone.
How does Technology affect children’s mental health?
Attention deficit: Among children under 2 years of age, their only focus is on the phone or tablet screen.
Learning problems: Technology also affects being a great distraction when studying. If you want your child to be a good learner, make them habituate reading books instead of using smartphones and computers, you can find many books especially made for the children’s as seen on coolthingschicago.com website.
Increase in tantrums: especially in the youngest, a product of overstimulation and sometimes because of the videos they watch.
Sedentary lifestyle: Spending hours in the obverse or front of the computer or sitting playing on the cell phone or tablet, together with a poor diet and little exercise, can cause childhood obesity that could bring other diseases at an early age.
Addiction: The use of these types of equipment introduces the child to a reward circle through dopamine production, called the hormone of happiness. The trouble is that there are no tools like temperance at an early age, which creates a fascination that turns into an addiction.
Decreased skills to interact: Limits their ability to establish new relationships and interactions with other children. In the same way, their physical interaction will also be compact.
Sleep disorders: The pineal gland, which creates melatonin at night and in the dark, is very sensitive to variations in light, and the light emitted by these electronic equipment causes the emission of the sleep hormone to be reduced or stopped.
How to Stop our Children from Abusing Technology?
Don’t use technology as an emotional pacifier. Children must be taught how to identify and control strong emotions. Educate them on techniques to calm down using breathing techniques and leading them to talk about what is happening to you
Promote outdoor activities: Children must learn to enjoy recreational activities that take them out of their fixation with technological devices.
Set limits and support them to take time off. Unstructured play outside of the digital world stimulates creativity. Free time from digital devices should be a daily priority, especially for younger children.
Do not use any screen type on children under two years of age.
Do not use computers or smartphones in the hour before going to sleep. The use of computers and smartphones during the night is extremely harmful and only prevents a quiet rest.
Be a good example. Because children are great imitators, it is significant for parents to limit their use in front of children. This will make them more available to have fun mutually as well.
Make the change little by little: If the kid is early addicted to technology, he will need to disconnect gradually. If it is removed abruptly, it increases infantile anxiety rather than improving it.
Finally, suppose the problem is more serious and difficult to tackle. In that case, parents must seek psychological help to determine the causes of this addiction and to develop a plan to avoid major consequences.
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