An April 2015 study discussed in Preventative Medicine suggests that parents who are “overly” involved or those that strive for their children to experience exceptional achievement in their lives may increase their children’s risk of physical inactivity, especially for those that are ages 7 to 12. (1) In response to this, Jordan Shapiro, a contributor for Forbes suggests that this study is puzzling and that we should all actually be practicing “intentional” hyper parenting, meaning we should be constantly thoughtful of the decisions we’re making and how they will affect our children, understanding that we are always teaching our kids how to interact with the world and how they can live fulfilled lives. Active parenting will help develop our children into emotionally, intellectually, and physically healthy kids and if Shapiro argues that if we sat back and did nothing, our kids would likely sit on their laptops, tablets, or in front of the television as long as possible. (2)
Digital media is stimulating for developing brains, designed to be easy to access and easy to get sucked into. This is why video game addiction in young people is growing at rampant rates. Screen time will draw children into a world of solitude and loneliness if it isn’t monitored closely. You wouldn’t allow your children free reign to eat all of the ice cream or candy that they want, would you? Same goes with allowing them free reign or access to the screen. Setting limits in all areas of their lives allows children to manage their time well, make conscious good decisions for the overall well-being of their minds and bodies, rather than letting them wander alone and give in to the temptations of the world around them and what their body tells them to do.
So, is setting limits for your child considered domineering and irrational? Setting controls on how your child uses technology is extremely important in today’s age where they are surrounded by devices and lured in by a society that says it’s okay and normal to overuse it. As parents, we should aim to teach our children that digital use is essential, but at the same time, create the impression that technology is a tool for us to use, not something that controls us.
Technology addiction is a very real thing and the amount of people that are experiencing this addiction is growing in rapid numbers across the world. If you or someone you know is experiencing signs of addiction to video games, pornography, technology, or social media, seek professional help immediately. For more information, go to: http://realbattle.org/resources/
- Lukits, Ann. “Too Much Parenting, Not Enough Exercise.” Wall Street Journal. March 16, 2015. http://www.wsj.com/articles/too-much-parenting-not-enough-exercise-1426520771
Accessed January 18, 2016.
- Shapiro, Jordan. “Parents Don’t Need To Worry About Screen Time Anymore.” Forbes. July 30, 2015. Accessed January 18, 2016. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jordanshapiro/2015/07/30/parents-dont-need-to-worry-about-screen-time-anymore/#9ab45782132d5a60e3802132