Despite the fact that spending in front of a television or smartphone screen is an effective way to keep children busy and away from trouble, there are many reasons why their screen time should be limited.
Reasons why children should not spend too much time in front of a screen
Whether it is a smartphone, a video game, a television or computer screen, it is important for parents to control the amount of time their children dedicate to these gadgets, as this can have long standing effects.
- When children spend too much time with gadgets, they forget to socialize because they spend too much time alone. As a result they do not know how to interact with other children or how to carry themselves among people.
- They become rude and disrespectful to their parents. When a child is interrupted by a sibling or a parent at a moment when he is engrossed in the video he is watching, or concentrating on reading or replying a message on his phone, he snaps and throws slangs at whoever interrupted them. The frightening part is that most children do this unconsciously.
- Other kids become lazy while others take more time to execute tasks and chores assigned them by their parents. They usually get carried away by the thrill of video games and the social media and do not take note of time.
- Some children become less smart when they return to school the following academic year. It I true that children are supposed to spend some time away from books during the holiday, but staying away completely can be detrimental when they return to school for the next academic. During the holidays, children need to spend some time studying and getting ready for the next class so as to remain smart and keep their brains active.
How children can have a gadget free holiday
Most parents do not have time to monitor their kids during the long holidays, but there are many things they can do to limit the amount of time children spend in front of screens and this can be done in the following ways.
- Parents can encourage young ones to learn a trade, or some form of handwork. It does not have to be anything too serious. There must be something a child is passionate about; apart from gadgets, it could be hair dressing, tailoring, designing, mechanics or anything that drives them. Parents can grab this opportunity and encourage their children to spend some time developing their talents during the holiday. This can be very instrumental in the future for their children.
- Those who can afford to, can send their off to holiday camps; without smartphones. Africa has amazing safari destinations in almost all her countries. Here, they meet with other kids and learn how to socialize. They will also spend quality time outdoors and learn games that require teamwork and collaboration.
- Send them to rural areas. Most Africans have families in rural areas (villages) especially grandparents. The holidays are a good opportunity for children to visit the rural areas and experience a difference in the way of life. They can also go to the farm and participate in the harvesting season during their stay.
- Children who did not perform well during the just ended academic year can participate in holiday classes. This will give them time to revise their school work and do better during the next academic year.
- Children should be given more responsibilities during their free time. They should participate in cleaning the house, doing laundry and learn how to cook and bake. These skills will come in handy when they leave home to live on their own, especially for boys.
- Parents who spend more time at work can seize the opportunity and take a break from work too, so they can spend some time with their kids and get to know them better.
Given that the world today is dominated and led by technology, and no one wants to be left behind, people (especially teenagers) have been caught up in the web of technological advancements. It is important that once in a while we rid ourselves of these tech devices and limit the amount of time we spend with these devices.
This is especially important for young people who need to stay away from these gadgets so as to be able to live “normal” lives and also learn how to relate with real people, not just those they meet online.
Article from AFRIC Editorial
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