Side effects of screens for your kids
I am not in favor of the screens policy for kids especially before the age of 2, no iPhone, no TV, no laptop, no screen of any kind.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under 2 should not be allowed to have access to screens. And they also advise parents to “place a reasonable limit on entertainment media”.
There are some side effects of screens listed below that how dangerous screens can prove for kids:
1. Shortened Attention Span
The fast-paced images of screens are correlated with shorter attention spans. We see rising rates of ADHD diagnosis due to continuous exposure to flashing images that keep eroding the attention span of children.
2. Worsen Reading Habits
We can see screens as a primary source of entertainment, while writing, reading, and drawing, etc. become boring in comparison.TV presents exciting images and sounds. Books are still. Why could not we encourage our kids to read books and imagine their own picture of the story being read, instead of sitting in front of the TV and watching images made for them that shorten their attention? It can enhance their imagination but today, reading has become tiring while TV is easier.
3. Wastage of Time
Screens are only a wastage of time. A child can spend the precious years of his childhood in much more better and beneficial ways instead of wasting time in front of screens. A child can enjoy their free time adventuring, exploring, talking to parents or siblings, reading storybooks, and being outdoors.
4. Decline in outdoor games
Screens are preferred more on outdoor time. Over the past several decades, we have become extremely lazy. We spend much of our time indoors than outdoors. People nowadays are taking nature for granted and spending time indoors seated on couches, in front of screens, and hence, having no peace of mind, weaker immunity, and more vulnerable bodies.
National Obesity Epidemic in the United States has observed all-time high childhood obesity. Of course, the kind of food intake and the time that we spend sitting down has a lot to do with this phenomenon.
Kids, as well as adults, can become addicted to TV, smartphones, or other electronic devices like an iPad, etc. These devices become their exclusive form of entertainment and they become so dependent on tools that some kids meltdown, without them. The only way to calm them is to handover them that iPhone.
7. Communication breakdown
In this digital age, many people used to communicate with text messages and social media instead of face-to-face communication with physical touch and eye contact. This hinders emotional growth.
8. Inappropriate Content
On social media, we come through hyper-sexualized content, foul language, violence, and cultural programming of modern western society. As a Muslim, it is worse for both kids and adults.
The parents being Muslim need to keep an eye on this pressing issue.
9. Decline in obedience to parents
We are having two reasons for this damage done to our society. Firstly, parents are portrayed in kid’s shows as if they do not know anything and are outsmarted by their own kids. Secondly, if your children are sitting in front of the screen and you call them to help you, to eat dinner, or do homework, they are lost in their screens, and they get irritated to be disturbed.
YouTube and TV now, rely on commercials. The show is paused after every few minutes for a commercial break, and kids watch these commercials as if they are part of the actual show. Companies create artificial desires for their products in the minds of kids. Therefore, avoiding screens can save our children from getting involved in a consumerist mentality.
(Written by freelance journalist Sadaf Riaz)