Looking at my younger brother glued to his Chromebook prompts me to write this, an article about kids on screens. Many parents don’t realize it, but their kids usually spend up to six hours on the screen per day. Usually, it’s a mix of educational videos and apps or playing video games and spending time watching YouTube videos. The best way for parents to protect their kids from mental health disorders is to manage their screen time and outdoor play. Here are the pros and cons of kids being on the screen.
Starting with the pros, kids enjoy learning through apps and the media. Not only do kids enjoy learning on their tablets, but they are learning at a faster pace putting them ahead of their class. Parents don’t have to bother their kids because they are enjoying it. My younger brother, who’s in elementary school, plays an educational game on his Chromebook that boosts his math skills, and he competes with his friends to see who can get to a higher level for bragging rights. Another positive example is kids can use their tablet or smartphone to call their family and friends. Even though many might wonder why not meet with them in person, smart devices allow kids to talk with their friends and family at any time they want. Students can also use smartphone apps to develop healthy habits and set their routines. For example, students can watch videos on healthy food choices or download apps for bedtime stories.
Looking at the cons, kids can spend too much time playing video games or watching videos, which can result in mental disorders and sleep deprivation. According to David Anderson, a well-known psychologist at the Child Mind Institute, kids under the age of ten are in critical development period, which means their brain and body are constantly changing. Social problems and depression are common among kids who tend to stick to their screens because they don’t know how to act appropriately when screens are not available. When my brother comes back from school, he spends around two hours playing games on his iPad and then goes to do homework. From personal experience, I find that you tend to feel sleepy and tired after watching a video or playing a game for an excessive amount of time. Lack of outdoor play results in obesity and a variety of other health problems, and studies show that around 40% of American kids spend more than three hours a day on a screen.
Personally, I feel like kids should go outside and play with their friends rather than sit at home and play video games. Parents should also take an initiative in setting boundaries for their kids and talking regularly with them about school. They also should have outings with their kids because it’s a way for kids to get off their devices. Nowadays, I feel parents just give their child a screen because they want their child to keep quiet. Even parents are too busy on their devices to care about what their kids are doing. It all comes down to the parents and their decisions.