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Wake Up Your Mind! Over Use of Technology Is A Serious Issue
Too much screen time causes behavioral problems in children
We know that too much time spent on social media and technology can have a negative impact on the physical and mental health of adults, and that children who spend hours glued to screens are no better off. A new study from the University of Michigan CS Mott Children’s Hospital shows that the amount of time parents spend staring at their own screens has a devastating impact on their children’s mental health and development.
Researchers have found that the more time parents spend on their phones and other devices (even the TV), the less meaningful interactions they have with their children. When a child’s time with a parent is interrupted by technology, the child feels frustrated and unimportant. This then causes the child to feel the need to act to get the lost attention back, most often in a negative way.
What the study warns against
The study looked at 170 two-parent homes in the United States with children who were just over three years old. Parents were asked about their personal use of smartphones, laptops, tablets and more: How they use them, when they use them, for how long, with research focusing primarily on how use interferes with family time, such as checking texts during dinner. or while playing.
Parents in the study were also asked to recall how often their child whined, was hyperactive, irritable or grumpy, or generally acted or behaved poorly in the past two months. After accounting for stress, anxiety, income, education, and other parent-related factors, the study found that even a small amount of interruption of parent-child engagement due to technology is associated with children’s behavior problems.
Although researchers say they cannot assume a direct correlation between children’s behavior and their parents’ level of technology use, they agree that there is definitely a relationship, especially between the child and their mother.
Other health effects of too much screen time
It is clear that spending too much time in the virtual world as opposed to the real world has detrimental effects on the health and well-being of adults, teenagers and children. Some other negative effects of spending a lot of time on our devices are:
– Vision and eye health
– Mental health and depression
– Cardiovascular health and increased risk of diabetes
– Neck, back and other musculoskeletal problems due to poor posture
– Brain development and learning disabilities
– Problems with attention deficit
– Sleep problems
Despite all the positive attributes of technology, it’s clear that allowing it to consume your life is bad for the mental, physical and emotional health of your entire family. The question then remains, how to still benefit from the benefits of technology without getting in the way of a happy and healthy home. (2, 3)
How to protect yourself and your family from the negative effects of excessive technology use
As mentioned before, technology is not bad, but when it starts to take away from meaningful interactions with your children, something needs to change. There are many ways you can continue to enjoy technology without it taking up your family time
Limit screen time for everyone.
Many parents limit their children’s time spent in front of the computer or in front of the TV, but what about themselves? Creating rules for everyone in the household, including you, and sticking to them will ensure that you have undisturbed quality time with your children every day.
No phones at the dinner table.
Dinner time is often one of the few times that busy families get to spend each day together to talk, learn, and share stories about their day. Having phones, televisions, or other forms of technology at the table creates distractions and discourages important conversation.
Choose other activities instead of movies.
While family movie night is fun and can be a great way to spend a quiet evening, the reality is that watching movies doesn’t encourage conversation or interaction. Why not replace family movie night with game night instead? This not only gives parents and children more opportunities to talk, but also helps build family traditions and memories that last much longer than a movie.
Get out… and leave your phones at home!
Make time every weekend to get outside and do something as a family, whether it’s a hike, playing ball at the park or bowling, or indoor miniature golf if the weather doesn’t cooperate, and leave all kinds of technology at home. or at least in the car. Without the ability to check texts, emails, or Instagram feeds, everyone can be fully present in the moment and enjoy each other’s company.
Put your phone on the plane without going anywhere.
If you find it extremely difficult to ignore your phone whenever you hear a “ping!”, set it to Airplane mode or silent mode at least until the kids are done with homework or in bed.
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