For many parents, it has now become acceptable that for their children, the involvement in the use of technology is part of everyday life. For us adults, we can remember a time when no such thing as a mobile phone or a tablet device, but these days, youngsters are equipped with both of these, the latest laptop, gaming console and so on. But are the youth of today using these devices too much and are there any health related issues that as parents we should be aware of?
Along with the different types of gizmos and gadgets, more and more children are joining social networking sites such as Facebook, MSN and Bebo. Age restrictions have been put in place for some of these such as Facebook but it doesn’t stop children bypassing the security options. In research carried out by Dr Larry Rosen, himself a psychologist and computer educator, results suggested that there is good and bad on young brain movement. Relating to social networking Rosen said, “Social networking is really helping them with who they are, their identity in the world.”
Discussion up for debate, included how long children are left unattended in front of devices such as laptops, computers and gaming consoles. As Mashable reported, Rosen’s worry is that some parents are happy to leave their child or children to play in front of a screen for hours on end, without the realisation that it could actually be harming the individual, for instance with the use of communication skills.
Another expert to express their view is that of occupational therapist for children Cris Rowan. In a statement it was said, “I used to say to parents, Look its reversible. Just cut your kid off and they’ll be OK. But that’s not true. They’re permanently altering the formation of their brain, and it’s not in a good way.”
It seems that this view is shared by other experts, but Rowan also points out that its not just brain development that can be affected, children in the long run could develop mental illnesses. In the past some health complaints such as ADHD, bipolar, depression and so on have been linked to the overuse of technology. So with all this in mind, is there anything that parents can do to eliminate their child’s time spent on devices?
Seven tips have been addressed but we’ve just chosen three. First up the advice is to take a TV set out of a child’s bedroom, this way youngsters can be monitored with how much they use and what they watch.
Secondly, another that is sadly dying out due to personal circumstances and work commitments, is that of parent and child time. Rosen suggests that grown ups could play electronic games with their children or even check out from time to time their social networking accounts.
Thirdly on the list, is that of children and the gadgets that they use. Experts such as Rosen believe that touchscreen gadgets far outweigh others, giving children the ability to use a tactile and kinaesthetic learning form.
Tell us where you stand with this? Are you parents of youngsters who are into their devices and social networking sites? Do you have rules and boundaries that they adhere to such as time spent on them, allowing you to see their networking pages and so on?