The Perils Of Screen Addiction Among Toddlers & The Roles Of Parents To Prevent The Scourge !
In this digital age, technology is an essential tool in our daily lives but when used excessively it may have negative impacts on the spiritual, emotional and physical wellness of users. It may also change the way the human brain processes information.
These dangerous signs are now manifesting among toddlers. Most children within ages 1 to 3 are no longer interested in playing with other toys except screen devices e.g. computers, iPad, iPhone, tablet etc. All they want is to sit down in front of screen or click on all Apps that are available on the home screen of any electronic device.
Screen device is now the first thing they view in the morning and the last thing they view in the night before they go to bed. Many of them are addicted to gaming, watching video & pornographic materials.
Compulsive use of screen devices e.g. computers, iPad, iPhone or watching videos among young children is a problem that can negatively affect their academic performance, relationship with parents, friends & other aspects of their daily lives.
In most cases the faults are from parents because many parents now entertain their children, particularly toddlers with screen devices, not minding the side effects. These young children are so addicted to the extent that even when the screen devices are collected from them they will cry & keep crying until the devices are returned to them.
The scourge of screen or internet addiction among young children is a global challenge and it has caused a lot of incalculable damages to the society.
For instance, few years ago, there were several news reports of children, particularly minors that died after following the stunt they saw on the video games they were addicted to.
What are the warning signs that a child is addicted to screen devices?
1. When the first thing a child views in the morning & the last thing he/she views before going to bed is a screen device.
2. When his/her grades are dropping in school.
3. Spending too much time online.
4. Having no interest in other toys except screen devices.
5. Feeling happy only when gaming & unhappy when he/she is not allowed to play video games.
6. When parents & family complain about the amount of time spent on screen devices.
7. When a child complains of headache or neck pain.
8. When staying with screen device is the only thing that makes him/her happy.
9. When screen time interferes with other daily activities.
10. When all efforts by parents to reduce the amount of time spent on screen device prove abortive.
Solutions to screen addiction among toddlers:
1. All children should be educated about internet safety.
2. Parents should encourage young children on meaningful screen use.
3. Screen time should be limited to only weekends.
4. Parents should supervise screen use.
5. Parents should always organise real life programs.
6. Parents should delete all Apps that the children don't really need from the devices.
7. Parents should always turn off all screen devices belonging children after use & keep them away from them.
Rotimi Onadipe, Tel: +234-8169121819 Email: [email protected]