The conditions of global health over the past two years, general insecurity as well as the imposition of restrictions on our daily activities have led us to spend a lot of time at home, reviewing our social relationships. Children were also affected to a great extent, as they had to adapt themselves to sudden and huge changes that took place into their daily lives.
During the past decade, the time that children spend in front of screens has increased due to the rapid invasion of internet into our daily lives. Quarantine contributed to the augmentation of this time. Whether it’s about online courses (e-learning) or entertainment, our little friends spend many hours a day on computers, mobile phones and TVs.
Dangers of excessive screen exposure
Children are particularly vulnerable and prone. Excessive preoccupation with screens may have negative effects on both their health and psychosynthesis. Among the dangers pointed out by scientists, it is worth mentioning that children:
- Get influenced by ads and raise over-consumption standards
- Read less books, thus fail to develop their imagination and vocabulary
- Neglect physical exercise, which may lead to obesity
- Become passive and indifferent to other activities
- Get in risk for addiction
It is important to supervise how much time children spend in front of screens. Make sure that screen preoccupation does not exceed the time they will devote to the rest of their activities!
If you notice that the engagement is constant and extensive, try to distract them. Attention! Remember that it is impossible for a child to leave its interesting activity to “do chores”. Don’t try to “lure” children by asking them – for example – to clean up their rooms. Include new and creative activities into your daily routine, that will eventually contribute to your children’s healthy development. It’s important to make them feel that you are not trying to suppress, limit or control them.
Depending on the age of your children, you may try the following:
Bathroom and toy: Fill the bathtub with water, put into their favorite toys and let them play, relax as well as enjoy a bubble bath.
Cook together: Find easy recipes and have fun while cooking. You may ask them to help you or, even better, become their assistant yourselves.
Play board games: It is a great opportunity to gather, laugh, collaborate, and expand your knowledge.
Exercise: Choose to go out for walking or running with your kids. Alternatively, stay at home, play loud music, and work out together!
There are many ways to distract children from being too attached to computers, cell phones or televisions. The most important thing is to set limits by explaining the situation in a calm voice, thus having a dialogue with your children. Finally, do not forget to encourage and point out the correct behavior with your own attitude.