The rule of thumb when it comes to the computer or any screen time is to set reasonable limits. That means 1-2 hours after homework for the best results. Behavioral problems with kids have always been a problem, but excessive exposure to media has exacerbated this issue to unmanageable levels. You need to keep your kid in check and reinforce the rules to prevent them from acting out.Read More »
Education may suffer if your kid is playing online games excessively
If you’ve ever been in a chat room for any video game or a social media site, you know how vulgar it can be. You can’t control every little thing your child absorbs daily, but you can undoubtedly prioritize education in their life. Stress the importance of enriching experiences over leisurely activities.
Academics will help cement solid behavioral patterns instead of spending all their free time glued to a screen. Cognitive consequences can arise from frying your brain on the internet all day, and the last thing on your mind is schoolwork. An interesting compromise is to encourage educational games. Some children will throw major fits if they don’t get their internet fix. All the possibilities make it more challenging to focus on school, from computers to handheld devices. Make screen time a privilege after homework, and things will go smoother.
Sitting down for long periods causes problems early on
Another difficulty when dealing with the internet is that you don’t realize how fast time goes by. If you neglect to check up on your kid, they become fixated on the screen for hours. This con of excessive internet applies to adults with a sedentary lifestyle. Many kids develop social skills and learn to play with others by being active outdoors. Getting fresh air beats surfing the web anytime, and you need to show them the more worthy activities. These could include going to the pool, bowling, or playing sports. If your child hates going outside, do your best to find something active indoors, so the draw to computers isn’t as strong.
Children need sleep more than adults, and the internet hinders that
It’s a fact that younger children need more sleep than fully grown adults. That’s because they are continually growing and developing, which takes a lot of energy. The problem with too much screen time is that it keeps you up for hours after trying to sleep. The blue light causes massive eye strain that is harder on underdeveloped corneas.
Consider switching to red-tinted phones and computers when used at night. Red lighting will help them transition to sleep without tossing and turning regularly. Additionally, kids will often sneak screen time before bed, so it’s good to take away their phones on school nights, so they aren’t like zombies the next day. Remember that sleep is a major factor when growing up. The internet can encourage kids to stay up later with some not getting any sleep. Lack of rest and poor grades go hand in hand, and you can even monitor your child’s sleep quality with advanced devices.
Continual exposure to violence isn’t good for mental growth
It’s essential to face the music regarding video games and excessive internet time. Consider checking their friend’s list to ensure no violent or obscene posts are in the feed. Many parents neglect to care about the ratings of video games, and the last thing you want is a kid playing something like Grand Theft Auto.
The brain has remarkable plasticity in the early years, and information is absorbed and assimilated quicker while developing. You don’t want violence becoming a staple of their personality, and bloody titles have their place in adulthood. If a game is rated M, realize that’s for a good reason. It’s a measure of protection that you should never take lightly as a parent.
The internet discourages children from going outside
Why go outdoors when you have a virtual world full of possibilities? This line of thought is becoming more common, especially with the advent of virtual reality consoles. Some parents have to drag their kids out to go on a simple walk while kicking and screaming. Even then, they still walk while holding the handheld device ridiculously.
Gaming and media are a staple of society, and children are now playing indoors more than before. In many circles, gaming is the only thing they do together regularly. Nature has a lot to offer, and there are many inspiring things you can introduce. Getting enough sun is essential, and kids should be strengthening their bones by playing outside instead of slouching over a screen.
It’s dangerous with cyberbullying and predators
The internet is a place where many dangers reside, and it’s where drama from school can grow and fester until things get out of hand. There have been many news stories about victims of online abuse, and children are particularly susceptible to being deeply affected by it. You can avoid this by not being allowed to have social media until a certain age. It seems extreme, but it’s probably best to discourage the internet during developmental years.
Predators are also online in chat rooms that your kids might frequent. There is a natural curiosity to find new friends online, and children become deceived easily. Teach your kids about these dangers before they arise and give specific instructions on what to do if a stranger messages them. The more potent threat is phones, where kids have limited adult supervision. Taking your kid’s phone before school is a comforting and wise choice.
Kids are more likely to fall for scams
Scams online are more abundant than ever, and people seek to dupe kids and adults. However, some target younger minds because they are more gullible and haven’t experienced the concept of a scam before. They usually promise prizes in a game or a hack to get them farther without working. A good solution for this is to hinder them from playing online games.
There was a time when you only gamed offline, which gives you a sense of peace knowing they aren’t under attack. If you let them online without any supervision, they will likely download programs with malware attached. Conduct a sweep of your computer and their phones to ensure no one is bugging them.
Children don’t understand that information on the web is forever
One of the harshest realities you have to learn is that sometimes the internet can come back to bite you. Kids through puberty are somewhat unstable because of excessive hormones and rapid cognitive development. They are more likely to be emotional and compulsive when posting statuses on social media. Even if they delete a post, it’s still stored forever.
Fast forward a few years down the road, and they might find it challenging to get certain positions because companies do thorough checks on social media before hiring. Kids don’t understand the concept of information storage permanence, so you must guide them by being honest about everything they post online. Hopefully, this will make them more conscientious.
The Internet has benefits but should be severely limited
It’s essential not to go overboard when it comes to the internet and other screen time. Restrictions are reasonable, but too many will encourage them to act behind your back more often. Certain times like the weekend are good for allowing increased gaming sessions with friends as a reward for a stellar week at school. If you give your children educational resources and games, they’re less likely to get sidetracked by the dark side of the internet.
Reasonable limitations should be set in place and reinforced daily to prevent issues from occurring. Taking away the internet is also a common, modern, and effective punishment. Teaching them to use screens responsibly is the key to success!
Make sure you set up parental controls and be present
There are many tools to help you maintain control over family activity online, so implement them regularly. Setting up parental controls will automatically deter them from visiting malicious and harmful sites. You must also be present to discourage extended gaming sessions that can quickly get out of hand otherwise. You share the responsibility because you’re providing and paying for the internet.
Stay around your child when they are on the phone or computer, and don’t allow them to surf the web alone. Kids are deviant sometimes, so don’t forget to set up limitations for their phones. It’s wise to monitor their internet history, but you should let them know before giving them a device.
Encouraging activities that don’t involve a screen for balance
Achieving the right balance is critical during the developmental years of your child. There are many activities that you can enjoy instead of going to a movie or playing computer together. Art and music are both excellent because they don’t involve screens and positively impact the young mind. Treat the internet with the same restraint as limitations on excessive sweets.
You now understand the consequences of excessive online time, and change starts with your mentality. Encourage physical activity and don’t let them fall into bad habits. They will have plenty of time to overuse the internet in the future, so prioritize healthy mental and physical development during the early years. Taking the whole family outside for bonding time is a way to stay inclusive without forcing individual activities. Too much internet time is terrible, so do your best to achieve balance!