5 Reasons Electronic Devices are Hurting our Kids

Are Electronic Devices hurting our kids

Some studies suggest that kids are spending over 6 hours a day using electronic devices, which includes TV, computers, mobile devices, video game consoles and music systems. Whoa… that is CRAZY!!

Extensive research has been conducted to establish the effects of these devices on kids. The findings of these studies show that there are both positive and negative effects. However, there are more negative effects since regular and overexposure to these devices can negatively affect the minds of children and hamper their development.

What do we do??? In our house, the rule is 30 minutes per day to use electronics, whether TV or iPad and 1 hour on the weekends or in the summer. 

Here are some of the negative effects of kids using electronic devices:

Negative impact on health

Using electronic devices can have a negative impact on the physical health of kids. Sitting for many hours before TV, video game consoles or computers can lead to obesity, sleep disturbances, dry eyes, headaches, muscular diseases, carpal tunnel syndrome, postural disorders and skeletal conditions in children. Other negative health effects include increased heart rate, high blood pressure and agitation.

Another major concern in spinal damage from looking down too much. This is a biggie for us since my husband is a chiropractor. 

Bad social development

Many research studies have shown a correlation between aggressive behavior and watching movies or playing video games with violence in them. Indulging in movies or games with a lot of shooting and killing can increase anger in kids, leading to depression, aggressive behavior and antisocial tendencies. Another disadvantage is that it limits the social life of the child when he/she is hooked to a computer or video console, affecting the development of their social and communication skills.

Affects Focus

If a child spends many hours using electronic media, it affects his/her ability to concentrate on studies. No wonder so many kids have trouble in school!

Unlike (most) adults that have good organizational and time management skills, most children find it difficult to shift their focus and attention from these devices.

We can see this in our own children. If my husband or I are on our phones or iPads, our children are curious and want to see what we are doing. They even stop what they are doing to come find out. 

The fact many children own mobile devices these days and can carry them to school even makes things worse. (No, our children do not have one and won’t for a long time!!!) This can be a big distraction, and research show that kids who frequently play games, watch movies or access their online accounts find it hard to concentrate on their studies, resulting in lower grades, skipping school or dropping out of school.

Bad influence

Kids often watch commercials that instill ideas into their minds about what they have to use rather what they actually need. I see it every time we watch tv together…. “Mom, I want that!”  It also creates a superficial image to which kids look up to as the only goal to find satisfaction. This can lead to health problems such as bulimia or anorexia. 

Exposure to sex at an early age

I hate to say it, but kids who use internet devices can intentionally or unintentionally come across porn sites. This could drive them into being sexually active at early ages, create issues for future spouses and so much more. There is such an issue with this in our culture that sadly our culture doesn’t even think it’s a problem.  5 Reasons Electronic Devices are Hurting our Kids

It is not that children should be kept away from electronic media, because it exposes them to a lot of positive things too. My kids love listening to Pandora and playing different learning apps or just for fun ones, but what we need to do is teach our children the importance of organizational skills, time management and how to use these devices in a meaningful and safe way.

We teach our kids that they can use electronic devices or watch tv when all the other important duties, like chores and homework are done, some days they don’t get to do any at all and some days it’s a half hour or so.  In the future, I think we’ll come up with some sort of reward system where they can earn time. 

It’s inevitable, they are going to use electronic devices, we just need to teach them how. 

What are your thoughts? Do you set limits? Have you seen negative effects from electronics in your child/ren?

About Rachel

Rachel is a mother to four children and a wife to a wellness doctor. Her passions are faith, family, and health. You can find her writing about her family adventures and inspiring you to make healthier choices for your family.

Comments

  1. Honestly, we have recently allowed our toddler to play an animal game on my iPod occasionally, usually just for 5-10 minutes increments when we really need it. But I’ve noticed that she gets really upset if we deny her the chance to play whenever she wants to. I am trying to scale back and not let her play often at all anymore because it’s just becoming an issue where she has a really hard time showing self-control and I feel like it sets her up for failure in that way. My older two children (5 & 3) may whine a little when I tell them no or tell them their time is over, but they are much more able to respond in an appropriate way.

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