Most of us know that kids love looking at screens. What most of might not know is the actual impact it has on them. A study from 2015 said that British children between 5-16 spend an average of 6.5 hours a day looking at screens!! That is up from 3 hours in 1995. Is this too much? Can this be addictive? What makes screens so enticing, not only to kids but us adults too?
With todays technology being so accessible, it is even harder to avoid our children's demands to watch a cartoon or play a game. This lack of natural breaks has led to many children not having what is called 'stopping rules'. They used to exist and we learned to wait and look forward to the next episode of the favourite show or even wait for your turn at a game console. These breaks are now disappearing as everything around us is becoming 24/7 and impatience is growing. When children learn that they can us their devices as soon as they are bored, have spare time or are unsure of what to do next, it can become dangerous. It's all about feedback. Children learn by misbehaving to see what their parents think, push buttons to discover what happens. Their devices however give feedback straight away! No need to wait, instant rewards.
Interaction with other children, reading other children's reactions and body language can not be taught on a device. This requires play and being without devices. Please allow our children to be children in the real world and not the virtual world! Everything as always within reason. Technology is here to stay but how much our children use it is up to us. We are their parents and more importantly their role models!!