Children are more interested in electronic gadgets than building blocks, story books, crayons and outdoor games. So, these days they are more engaged with such devices than other activities. Let us take a look at the ill effects of such electronic gadgets on kids.
Electronic gadgets have changed the way the world functions and have opened up a vista of new opportunities for entertainment for kids. However there are a lot of negative effects of overuse of electronic gadgets which you as a parent should be aware of.
Sense of Isolation
According to a latest market survey kids between the ages 7-15 spend a total average amount of 6 hours per day engaging in some way with electronic devices of some nature. This does not include the time spent texting or chatting on the phone. Since a lot of time is spent using the electronic medium for communicating with family members, friends, instructors, educators etc the children get used to using electronic etiquette and forget the basic courtesies of communication.
It is observed that many children who are obsessed with the electronic medium start avoiding social interaction as they fail to develop basic conversation skills and etiquette. This ultimately leads to a sense of isolation which is harmful for the psychology of the child.
Exposure to Offensive Material
With the increased accessibility to electronic mediums that children now enjoy there comes the increased accessibility to all kinds of information. While some of the material is informative, educational and appropriately entertaining there is a lot of material which is distinctly child unfriendly.
Violence and nudity are just two of the hidden dangers that children stand a risk of being exposed to with increased use of electronic medium. There is a lot of material (textual, images, audio or graphic) that sends out morally inappropriate messages to children. Repeated unsupervised exposure to electronic mediums can degrade the moral fibre of children. And as most parents realise it is quite difficult to filter content that kids watch due to the opportunities offered by the Internet.
Tendency to Gain Weight
With the tempting variety of electronic devices available at kids disposal nowadays ranging from tablets to Smartphones to gaming consoles it is no wonder that kids are finding less and less interest in physical activity. According to a recent survey it was shown that kids who spend more than 4 hours per day on electronic devices showed a 60% more tendency to gain weight.
Children tend to remain physically immobile while watching television or gaming and this completely shuts off all physical motion. Prolonged exposure to this situation will lead to lowering of basal metabolic rate and this will lead to increased tendency of gaining weight. As a parent you must be probably aware of the concerns of cardiac problems, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and polycystic ovaries etc which are linked to high body weight.
Less Focus on Studies
Kids who spend more than 5 hours per day hooked to electronic medium actually score lower grades at school according to a latest educational survey. In contrast children who spend less than 3 hours using electronic media score significantly higher grades. This shows that spending too much time on electronic media can steal away the focus from education and divert it towards a make believe world. Children who use the electronic medium just for educational purposes tend to spend just a mediocre amount of time on it.
Disconnect with Real World
Kids spending inordinately higher time on electronic media gradually experience disconnect with the real world. This may be due to the high amount of alternative reality or false glamour projected by mediums like television.
As a parent you might be concerned on how to control the electronic medium use by your children. The best way you can do this is to cooperatively discuss time limits on electronic time with your kids. Remember cooperation always works better than coercion here.
How to control the usage of electronic gadgets in kids? What are the harmful effects of electronic gadgets on kids? How to make kids aware of the ill effects of using electronic gadgets excessively? Discuss here.
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- The Indiaparenting Team