Children and technology – love it or hate it, smart devices are in your children’s lives and they’re here to stay. Offering many great opportunities for more engaged learning, technology helps a child’s progression in subjects that traditionally have had a reputation for struggling to engross pupils, such as math or physics. However, technology has other shameful perks.
Although we hate to admit it, smart devices also act as a digital babysitter, keeping our children temporarily occupied and quiet. Parenting is a tough job – just getting a free hour to prepare dinner can often feel near impossible. The lure of just popping a smartphone in your child’s hands is understandably tempting. But is something that so easily pacifies a child too good to be true? With 5 to 16-year-olds now spending an average of 6 hours per day looking at a mobile phone or screens, worrying patterns are starting to emerge between children and technology. The time that our children spend on smart devices isn’t just concerning parents any more – scientists and governments across the world are now taking an active interest in the effects of this behaviour.
Studies so far have found that too much time spent on smart devices, and the Internet they access, is causing problems in several areas of children’s development like:
At least equally important as setting restrictions on shiny technology is to make the outdoors as appealing to your child as possible. Cast your mind back to childhood and remember the things that intrigued you and set fire to your imagination. Make sure your child has all the tools at their disposal to enjoy the best the outdoors has to offer. Let them use their creativity to bring playtime to life.