Trying to convince our kids to put down their digital devices has become a constant struggle for most parents. Many are rightly concerned about how all this screen time might be harmful to kids. Of course, it’s easy to provide a child with a phone or tablet and allow them to entertain themselves whilst we get our jobs are done, which is fine in moderation. However, we also need to engage with our children and encourage action, socialisation, community involvement and other forms of stimulation. A day and boarding school in London explore the dangers of too much screen time below.
Firstly, too much screen time can lead to numerous negative effects on a child’s physical health. It’s a completely sedentary activity, meaning the child is not getting any exercise. This can result in weight gain, aches and pains and various other ailments due to poor fitness. What’s more, anyone who spends hours on end staring at a screen may start to experience eye strain and headaches. Other physical side effects include things like sleep disorders, caused by the light emitted from the screen, and poor communication skills caused by social isolation. These are all potentially quite serious issues that can then lead to further problems, so it’s important for parents to figure out some ways to change their child’s habits.
Before you start incorporating rules or enforcing phone bans, be sure to talk to your child about your concerns. They will be far more receptive of your plan to limit screen time if they understand why, rather than thinking you’re just being mean. You can then come up with a plan together for how things are going to change. Perhaps you can propose a schedule, like no tech after 7pm, no phones at the table or no gadgets on Sunday mornings.
You should also encourage your child to join some extra-curricular activities like drama club or a football team. This will help them get away from their devices, make some friends and even get some physical exercise (depending on the activity). If you think your child is spending too much time on their technology, don’t be too hard on yourself. As long as they are balancing that time with other, beneficial activities and schoolwork, there shouldn’t be too much of a problem.