There was a time when we weren't allowed to use electronic devices in class. Teachers used to make you put away your phones in lockers or backpacks. If you were caught using your phone, you’d either end up with detention or a stern warning, at the very least.
But now, phones are everywhere. They are viewed as assets in the classroom with all the educational apps and online learning. The thing is, while phones can be helpful for learning, they're also a major distraction for students. With the bombardment of notifications and temptations to browse social media or play games, electronic devices have become a distraction for students. Instead of enhancing the learning experience, they can actually be counterproductive and detrimental to academic success.
What's even worse is that a lot of kids get access to phones at such a young age, which can hinder their social and cognitive development. Sure, there are benefits to having a phone, like being able to stay in touch and ensure safety, but you need to be careful that your kids don't rely on them too much.
Kids who spend more time on smartphones and screens are less able to read human emotion and have less empathy.
The more your child becomes attached to screens and smartphones, the more they distance themselves from the richness found in human connection, feeling others emotions and understanding their experiences. These are all things that your children detach themselves from when they form an addiction to their devices.
Technology can seriously mess up kids' critical thinking, memory, and coordination. The University of California found that kids who spend too much time glued to screens can't remember stuff and have trouble focusing because they're always looking for instant gratification. Think about it. Everything is just a click, swipe or search away. It is easier for your kid to get lazy and expect technology to do everything for them. What happens when this happens? They will not learn to think for themselves and rely solely on the internet for answers to some of the simplest questions.
Have you ever wondered what happens to your child’s motor skills when they don’t engage in activities like writing, drawing, or playing with small toys?
Well, our brain sends signals through neurons to the muscles in our hands and fingers to carry out precise movements. These neurons form connections with the muscles, creating neural pathways that become stronger with practice. Keyword being: practice. This strengthens the muscles and improves hand-eye coordination, as our brain learns to control our hands more precisely. So when your child spends a lot of time using electronic devices, they’re not using the same muscles and neural pathways as you would when engaging in hands-on activities. The movements involved in tapping, swiping, and scrolling are not as precise and don't require the same level of fine motor control. So what happens is that the neurons in our brain that control these movements don't form as strong of connections with the muscles in our hands, ultimately, weakening your child’s motor skill development.
I can not begin to emphasize just how bad screen time is for your kids. It worsens their posture and makes them less active. Limited physical activity weakens their muscles that are developing and reduces bone density which leads to motor skill delays and deficiencies. This is only because kids are no longer using their hands to manipulate physical objects, which is the basis to develop these skills. Children who spend more than two hours a day using screens have been found to have lower scores on tests that measure language and thinking skills.
I think it is important to teach kids that technology only gives us a two-dimensional experience of the world. If you want your children to understand and to become resilient in their lives, you need to do them the favor of taking away their phone, tablet, computer, whatever device they have. And you need to step outside with them, watch them engage with people, animals, and things around them
Think about it, your child can either watch a video about animals on YouTube or go to the zoo. The smells, the sounds, the monumental bonding. These are all things going out and doing activities together does for your child. Taking them to visit a farm, or even just taking a walk outside can help them have an enriching experience.
And sure, texting and social media can be convenient, but they don't give us the same level of connection as speaking to someone in person. Talking to a person in real life teaches children social skills, empathy, listening and effective communication. It teaches them the importance of body language and tone.
I know how enticing spending hours and hours in front of the screen may sound, especially to the iPad generation. But it is your job as their parent to remind them to connect with others, read their emotions, and form new experiences.
You need to teach them that human connection and empathy are essential for growth. The effects of being chained to a screen are harmful because without the basic skills, without exercising their mind - they will be lost in this world. Critical thinking and problem-solving teaches us how to navigate complex situations and make informed decisions. Memory retention is the basis of any form of learning, and motor skills are essential for everyday tasks.
Any obstruction in a child’s skill development directly affects their ability for future success.
Traditional teaching methods can be used to revert the reliance of technology in classrooms. You should urge your children’s teachers to limit screen time and encourage activities that promote brain activity and physical activity.
Are you wondering about activities that will stimulate your child’s mind? They’re not the result of solving complex equations or doing a rubix cube underwater. NO. It really is in the simple things like adding group discussions, debates and team projects into the lesson plan. Reading books, practicing mindfulness, and engaging in physical activities to help promote focus and concentration.
Teachers can also implement teaching methods that encourage collaboration and hands-on activities. Project-based, inquiry-based, and experiential learning are effective teaching methods that encourage children to engage with the content actively and promote long-term retention of information.
Children who spend so much time on their screens and then complain about experiences with eye strains, headaches, and disrupted sleep patterns. Why? The blue light emitted by screens can disrupt the body's natural production of melatonin, leading to difficulty falling asleep and disrupted sleep patterns. Poor sleep quality can lead to fatigue, irritability, and poor academic performance.
The constant usage of electronic devices slows down social skills. Children who spend too much time on screens are less likely to interact face-to-face or develop critical social skills such as communication, empathy or even the ability to work in a team.
But the thing is, too much screen time is objectively bad for your kids. Children are found to have a hard time recognizing emotions in others, and that can make it tough to develop the social skills that are needed to succeed in life.
And it's not just about social skills. Too much screen time also leads to some serious health problems. Sitting in front of a screen all day leads to a sedentary lifestyle, which increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. And, let's be real, no one wants that for their kid.
As a parent, it's hard to know what to do. You want your kid to be healthy and happy, but you also want them to keep up with their friends and stay in the loop. It's a tough balance to strike, but it's one that's super important.
I've found that setting limits on screen time is key. This allows kids to use their devices, but only for a certain amount of time each day.
It's super important to limit screen time and encourage healthy habits to counteract all the negative effects that come with technology. You need to be involved in activities that help your child socialize, like playing board games, team sports, and outdoor stuff.
You need to set a good example by setting a limit on your own screen time before bed and creating a relaxed bedtime routine for your child and yourself, like reading or meditating. Involve your child in different things like art, music or writing to help them stay interested and keep them occupied. Occupying them with another task is one of the best ways to help them cut down on how much they use their electronics.
As an educational psychologist, Jane Healy, once said, "Children are born with a zest for learning, but this is extinguished by the time they reach third grade. Too much technology too soon, too often, and too unsupervised is responsible for this."
This statement is more relevant now than ever before. You live in an age where technology is ubiquitous, and its impact on our lives is undeniable. You need to recognize that technology has the power to disconnect children from their inner selves significantly.
The dependency on technology has reached a point where children have lost touch with their spiritual nature and physical connection to the world. We need to emphasize cultivating awareness and mindfulness in their daily lives. They need to be taught to be fully present in each moment and to cultivate a deep sense of gratitude for the blessings in their lives.
In this way, we can create a future generation well-equipped to succeed in an increasingly technological world while prioritizing their physical and mental health. Through the promotion of healthy interactions with technology and developing a spiritual bond with the physical world, we will have kids that have a keen interest, an enthusiastic approach, and an active participation in learning.