ADHD, Learning and Development
In today’s busy world, it has become all too easy to employ smartphones and tablets as babysitters. With a device in hand or propped in front of the TV screen, the kids are kept busy and quiet and we can at least get on with our work and fulfil our duties.
It also gives us the chance to surf the internet, play games, browse and post on Facebook, Whatsapp, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram or whatever we think looks more interesting and stimulating than to interact with our kids.
However, have you ever considered the cost of excessive screen time? As overexposure to technology can slow down the physical and mental development of children, you will probably pay dearly for remedial therapies to “fix” your child. Or it may take a long time to fill all the gaps in learning and development of critical academic, physical, emotional, and social skills.
Overuse of digital devices and screens result in some sensory systems not being stimulated enough while others are overstimulated. This imbalance causes the brain’s chemistry, anatomy, and pathways not to develop, to change and in some cases, get damaged.
For a child to develop healthily, they need:
- Specific and focused physical exercises
- Human touch and affection
- Human connection and cognitive stimulation, including talking in person
- Exposure to nature
- Well-balanced nutrition to include all food groups
Technology provides none of the above. In fact, overexposure to devices results in:
- Co-ordination disorder
- Developmental delays
- Unintelligible speech
- Learning difficulties
- Sensory processing disorder
- Sleep disorders
- Obesity and diabetes
Children who get too much screen time constantly complain of being bored when they are not online. They have no idea how to keep themselves busy, or how to use their creativity and imagination. Teenagers struggle to build real-life relationships and actual social interaction is a foreign concept.
Technology has dawned so rapidly on humanity that we have not had the time to thoroughly investigate the long-term effects. However, we do know that people of all ages are losing their humanness and ability to interact and cope with real life. This does not bode well for the survival of our species.
It is the duty of all responsible parents to make sure that they limit their kids’ screen time. In this way they will learn the natural way to concentrate, focus, pay attention, and sense other people’s feelings and attitudes.