Should Parents limit screen time for kids?

By Uale Tofilau 29 May 2023, 12:00PM

The advancement of technology has revolutionized the way we live and work, but it has also dramatically increased the amount of time young children spend on electronic devices. 

Many parents are concerned about the impact of screen time on their children's physical and mental wellbeing, leading them to ponder whether they should limit the amount of time their children spend in front of screens. Although digital devices can provide excellent learning opportunities and entertainment, limited screen time for kids is essential for their healthy development.

 Firstly, too much screen time affects children's physical health. Long hours of sitting in front of a screen can lead to obesity, which causes numerous diseases such as high blood pressure, heart diseases, and diabetes. 

The blue light emitted from a screen reduces melatonin production, leading to insomnia and sleep disorders in children. This further affects their brain development and affects cognitive functioning, leading to poor academic performance.

Secondly, screen time negatively impacts children's social development. An excessive amount of screen time increases a child's loneliness, anxiety, and depression. Gaming, social media, and YouTube subscription channels often promote negative stereotypes, violence, sex, and drug use, which can be harmful to children's moral and ethical values. Instead, parents should encourage children to engage in other activities like sports, art, and communicating with family and friends to develop their social skills.

 Thirdly, limiting screen time enhances children's creativity and cognitive abilities. With a limited amount of screen time, children can learn to channel their boredom into productive activities such as reading, writing or puzzles, which can improve their cognitive development, creativity and problem-solving abilities. Parents can introduce their children to new activities to explore and broaden their interests outside of electronic devices.

In conclusion, it is essential to limit screen time for children to keep them physically, mentally and socially healthy. The optimal screen time should be regulated according to the age, content, and purpose of the screen activity. 

Parents can implement screen-free days at home, supervise kids while using digital devices, and engage them in other recreational activities that foster their overall development. By limiting screen time, parents can empower their children to lead a healthy and balanced lifestyle, which will lead to a brighter future for them.

By Uale Tofilau 29 May 2023, 12:00PM
Samoa Observer

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