No matter how much we fight it, technology is a big part of our children’s lives and is here to stay. As a matter of fact, the tremendous benefits associated with information technology in almost every field of our lives is one grand reason why we shouldn’t turn our back on it. The technology currently offers great benefits and opportunities for learning for our children and can be used as a tool to build many of their skills.
However, the great things that technology brought to this world come at a cost. We all hate to admit this, but most of us are rather addicted to our technology gadgets, smartphones, and laptops. Parents nowadays frequently use technology to keep the children occupied while we do our errands, or keep them interested while we feed them.
This way, children grow alongside technology. It’s no secret that the younger generations, millennials, and Gen Z included, have used technology from their youngest age. As a result, we now look at statistics like the one we read about on BBC – children of 5 through 16 years spend an average of 6 hours daily looking at a screen.
Have you found yourself reminiscing about the old days when we grew up playing outside, playing sports, and riding bikes? When we compare this to our children’s behavior of today, seated in front of the screen for a quality amount of time, it’s obvious that children and technology make a big problem.
The families of today are much different from those in the past. Technology has fractured the foundation of every family and been the cause of many controversies in terms of children using it. There’s an entire, endless list of positive and negative effects of technology on children, and no one seems to be the wiser.
The truth is, in the busy lives we live in today, relying on technology for things like communication and information, as well as entertainment is not a luxury, but a necessity. If children didn’t misuse it or form an addition to it, they could use the many benefits technology offers them.
There’s no doubt about it – technology can be an amazing tool for the child if used with care and properly. They can use it to access materials to study, a kind of access which we didn’t have before technology. When school becomes too hard, they can use it to get essay help offered by British writers and finally get a good night’s sleep. No parent will judge their child for this. The academic burden is often too much for children to bear, so ordering essays online might not be a bad idea, after all.
However, the problem with technology is also real. The wide use of it has changed our family structure, as well as our lifestyles. For most families, gone are the days when the entire family would sit down to have dinner and have a nice conversation. Not to mention, children start procrastinating and negatively affecting their studies to stay on social media channels or play video games on their computers.
Because of such addiction to technology entertainment and communication aided by it, the benefits it offers swiftly move into the category of risks and damage. Children that are too exposed to technology are limiting the necessary activities that would make their bodies achieve motor and sensory development. They are no longer interested to go outside and play. They don’t practice sports or are enthusiastic about it as they used to be in the past. Their bodies turn into sedentary bodies and their addiction to technology prevents them from focusing on their education.
As a result, we are facing an increase in behavior, psychological, as well as physical disorders in children all around the world. We’re struggling with issues like diabetes and child obesity, which have become somewhat of an epidemic in the US.
Many terrible things can be associated with the technology problem found with children. HuffPost lists just a few of them, and the list is still highly devastating. It includes things such as developmental delays, autism, ADHD, coordination disorder, unintelligible speech, sensory processing disorder, learning difficulties, sleep disorders, and anxiety.
Parents face serious issues when trying to tackle their children’s improper use of technology. Many of them feel at a loss, trying to find a way to reduce the use of technology from their children’s lives.
The solution lies in us, adults. How do we expect to discipline our children if we can’t discipline ourselves? Children see us staring at our screens and, let’s be honest – we do this a lot, too.
The first step toward removing technology addictions starts with the adults in the family. The idea isn’t to remove technology altogether – this can be a great shock for everyone who’s used it for hours on a daily basis. It leaves us feeling socially isolated, not to mention takes away a great opportunity for your child to learn.
There are plenty of techniques that work toward reducing the time spent in front of the screen. Some of these include:
- Giving the child screen time as a reward when they behave well
- Taking away technology when your child behaves badly
- Setting time restrictions for using technology, and using tools and apps to implement these rules
- Teaching the child about the benefits of technology and how to use it properly
- Pointing out the many issues that can result from using technology too much
There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but we have to work hard to find it. Technology is now a big addition to our lives and even our homes, but it is our task to provide our children with a healthier life and teach them awareness.