Our children are growing up in a world of modern technologies, with screen time as an inseparable part of their lives. Since the earliest age, children are exposed to technology, devices, and almost unlimited Internet access.
A report by UNICEF states that kids and teenagers under the age of 18 are the most connected generations today, accounting for 1 in 3 Internet users globally. Kids use the Internet and digital media to connect with friends, play video games, download, browse, learn, and discover.
Managing kids’ screen time causes worry and anxiety in parents worldwide. Parents are concerned about both placing limits on their children’s screen time and the content they are engaging with.
We are aware that digital resources bring about many risks. Research shows that digital media can affect a child’s mental health. For example, studies show that social media use can cause frequent mood swings and trigger feelings of loneliness, isolation, anxiety, and depression. In many kids and teenagers, social media negatively affects self-esteem and body image and provokes feelings of loneliness or inadequacy.
Screen time distracts kids and teenagers from other things they should be doing. Also, digital media use has intensified problems such as cyberbullying, abuse, and child pornography.
One research suggests that the nature of your child’s screen time matters more than the amount of time he spends in front of the screen. Yes, there is a problem if your child spends hours interacting with screens – spending most of all of your time doing one thing is always problematic.
However, the researches argue that it is the nature of the screen time rather than the length that matters.
What are the Benefits of Screen Time?
Different surveys showed that electronic media use can spark a child’s creativity and promote critical thinking skills. It can also improve kids’ communication skills, boost their confidence, teach them collaboration, and help them learn and develop new skills, particularly in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) field.
Modern life banks on science, technology, and engineering. Our kids are growing up in the world defined by digital technologies. Some studies show that around 50 percent of current jobs will be automated within two decades. More than half of the first-graders will do jobs we haven’t heard of yet.
The importance of STEM education today is undeniable. Modern technologies have introduced many improvements to traditional school curriculums, offering online learning programs that encourage kids to gain and expand their knowledge.
Digital resources that explore STEM activities in an engaging way can help spark kids’ interest in these disciplines and inspire them to pursue STEM careers in the future.
To sum up, screen-time isn’t necessarily bad for your child. Interactive forms of using digital media like online STEM programs have great potential to help your child’s development.
Digital resources such as online games and mobile apps require adult guidance though. Your children need you to place limits and help them navigate the world of technology.
Take care and keep healthy and positive,