Children today are very tech savvy. Toddlers can use tablets and mobile phones with ease. And because these gadgets keep children engaged and quiet, parents allow their kids to have as much screen time as they want.
However, studies show more than two hours of screen time can lead to several adverse effects
Studies show that children who are exposed to gadgets for more than two hours daily can become obese due to lack of physical activities. This can also lead to vision issues, seizures, and even diabetes.
DECREASED ATTENTION SPAN
Gadget overuse can have a big impact on children's’ brain development, especially on toddlers. Studies show that from the day of birth up to three years of age, the brain develops quickly and it is sensitive to the environment. This is called the “Critical Stage”. The changes that happen in those years could become permanent. In this stage, the brain needs stimuli from the outside environment. Children need to have real conversations and interactions which help to develop attention span.
IMPAIRED SOCIAL SKILLS
A study done by Klin et al in 1991 states that an increase in playing computer games consequently leads to a decrease in contact and interaction with others, and can stop the individual from learning opportunities for developing social skills effectively and efficiently.
This means that too much gaming can deprive your child of face-to-face and eye-to-eye interactions, this can result to social awkwardness.
Exciting Activities that Can Divert Your Child’s Attention from Gadgets
PLAYING BOARD GAMES
Board games are one of the best ways to divert children from gadget overuse . These can improve not just their social skills but also their critical thinking, strategic skills, and non-verbal communication such as gestures, body language and facial expressions. There are many fun and exciting board games to choose from: Monopoly, Scrabble or Chess, and more!
DOING OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
Children love exploring. They always learn something new when they go outside and play. So make sure to schedule a day of fun under the sun. You can go to the nearest resort, have a picnic at the park or invite your neighbors for a barbecue party at your yard.
READING AND STORYTELLING
These activities not only play an important role in children’s early literacy, they are also essential in creating creating fond memories and bonding moments between parent and child. Reading and storytelling help kids learn and recognize sounds, words, language, develop their imagination, and stimulate curiosity.
LEARNING MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
There are numerous benefits from playing musical instruments. This activity stimulates the brain, and improves memory and abstract reasoning skills. Learning to play musical instruments is not easy as it needs discipline and time management, but acquiring this set of skills would make your kids stand out!
Like it or not, gadgets and technology are now an integral part of daily living. But like all things in life, everything should be done in moderation. Too much time in a virtual world may have a big impact on your children’s mental and physical health. Providing other productive activities can boost your children’s social skills, improve their physical fitness, and strengthen family bonds.