Reducing ‘excess’ screen time

In the time of smartphones and social media, the topic of internet addiction among young children and adults has become a raging issue. There are debates and discussions regarding the impact of internet addiction on young minds.

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While there is no doubt about the benefits the internet can bring to the lives of children, there are some detrimental effects of this technological boom that cannot be overlooked or side-lined. Studies have shown that children and teenagers who are engrossed with the internet for long hours develop a sedentary lifestyle. They are at high risk of obesity and other chronic illnesses like heart failure, low immunity, behavioural problems, diabetes, etc. It can also damage mental health. Young teens with prolonged internet addiction have difficulty in concentration and forging social skills.

Having said this, we are currently in a pandemic and for many children, time spent online chatting to their friends is their ONLY social interaction. It is an odd balance to try to address – given that in actual fact, currently so many of us would be worse off without the ability to have online access. Screen time is currently proving essential for so many, whether this is for work and education, relaxation or socialising.

Outside of the pandemic however, there are valid concerns which remain. The development of apps like Instagram, Snapchat and so on, has made the problems worse. Girls aged between 13-18 in particular have been exposed to a range of body image information that has the power to cause low self-esteem and body image issues. Gaming is another addictive medium that engages a young audience. There is evidence to suggest that children who play lots of online games, become adults who also do this, which can involve online casinos and gambling sites. One of the popular online casino sites Winissimo Casino has games both for professionals and beginners. Since the internet has become an indispensable part of our lives which cannot be thwarted away, parents can play a big role in coming up with innovative ways to lower internet addiction, or excessive use at least, among children.

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Bring back the magic of board games

One of the biggest fallouts of the internet is the gradual loss of connection between parents and children. To resolve this issue partially, why not encourage board games. There are so many fun games out there, suitable for all children. Boards games can strike conversations about school, studies, friendships, relationships, any life-changing events, etc. Board games can be a fun break from the constant glare of the screens.

Add a bit of nature to their lives

To make teenagers accustomed to greenery, parents can schedule some outside activity for their kids. Physical activity and exercise is a must in children’s lives as it not only helps to boost stamina and energy but revitalises them to work and study more. Being connected with nature, also makes them environmentally conscious and considerate. They hopefully become more compassionate and responsible for protecting the planet. Not to mention getting outside is really important for sustaining good mental health.

Introduce them to a new hobby

Depending on what your child likes you could try to include interesting and quirky hobbies into their routine. Do they like to make things? Are they sporty? Are they interested in cooking or baking? Perhaps they would enjoy learning a new language?

Whilst currently all these things may involve online classes, the time is structured and not the same as them spending unguided time online.

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