Ten years ago, psychologist Sue Palmer declared that social media has a negative impact on people, especially children. But according to her, there is now another danger that could be even more toxic.
For many parents, the iPad, mobile phones, tablets and other technologies are the quickest and easiest way to silence children. For example, when a child starts crying or crying in a public place, parents search for the iPad to calm and distract them.
The iPad could be a much more toxic threat than we think:
Psychologist Sue Palmer says she sees this more and more frequently.
The kids, barely able to speak, are pros in handling the iPad. Screen addiction starts at a very early age, and it does not improve over time.
In her book, Toxic Childhood, Sue wrote about the dangers of too much screen time on children’s mental and physical health. Unfortunately, his fears are well founded and more and more young children are slaves of the screens.
The problem is that on average, a child spends 6 hours in front of a screen nowadays. Plus, they usually have more than one screen in front of them. For example, they watch TV while playing on an iPad. Sue says that we can only speculate on the effect of screens on children because the problem is rather new and we do not know yet how they will behave adults and what kind of challenges they will have then.
Sue thinks the screens have affected children’s attention span and hyperactivity because recently there have been many more prescriptions for these kinds of drugs.
There was a recent study that showed that 10% of children under 4 were put to bed with a tablet to fall asleep. There was another research on families with a tablet, which confirmed that one-third of children under 3 had their tablet.
The sooner we introduce tablets to children, the harder it is for them to live without. So it’s like a real addiction. When they are used to having one with them, they can not even manage without it.
The problem with iPads and other screens is that they occupy all the time and that children no longer play with other children. This can have a huge effect on their communication and team skills. Parents should not choose the easy solution and give a tablet to their child when he is not satisfied with something. Children must interact with other humans and socialize. Otherwise, they will have problems in adulthood.
Playing outside with other children also helps develop their physical skills. They become stronger and healthier. In addition, the interaction between them helps develop their empathy and problem-solving skills, which is as important to them as eating or sleeping.
The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend screens for children under two years of age and up to two hours thereafter. Screens do not help children develop their minds and bodies in a healthy way.
The children are all learning. They are learning something new every day about the real world, and it’s exciting for them. If you give them a screen, it makes sounds and gives prices, so the real world is no longer exciting for them, and they prefer to spend their time watching the screen.
Children can become depressed and sad when they do not interact with others. They become more anxious and lose the notion of reality.
The screens are not all bad. They have helped a lot in our society. But we should limit our time as much as possible, especially for children. It may be easier for parents to put their children in front of a screen to calm them down, but it can affect the child’s self-confidence, creative thinking, social skills and negative concentration.