Media Devices are not a Babysitter

Media Devices are not a Babysitter

Parents, beware: the media devices is not a babysitter

Frequent use of a media devices by children can be addictive, so you need to limit its consumption. 

Dear mom and dad, children are perfect imitators. They observe everything. Words, gestures or actions are able to influence their future learning and behavior. That’s why you should set a good example in small daily habits, starting with the use of media devices . In fact, you may have thought at least once “I leave the phone so he stops crying” or “I start a video on YouTube so he gets distracted and eats”. Sometimes useful solutions, but in the long run incorrect because, for those who do not yet know it, the frequent use of a technological device can be addictive .

“From an early age, children are left with media devices, without knowing that the more you get used to their use, the harder it is to do without them in adolescence, so it’s important to make recommendations”.


Media Devices are not a Babysitter
Media Devices are not a Babysitter


Establish times and times of use media devices

It is necessary to establish times and times, key rules and above all methods of use. The first suggestion, starting from a very young age, is not to leave mobile phones, tablets or media devices to children under the age of 2. Then limit its use to one hour between 2 and 5 years and 2 hours at most between 5 and 8 years. How? «Forgetting them during meals, while doing homework or while staying with the family, trying more than anything else to fill the time that the boy or girl spends with the device chatting» explains the pediatrician.

Evaluate the quality of the content

In addition to monitoring the time that the child spends in front of the screen, it is important to evaluate the quality of the programs, because even the “educational” ones, for example in English, may not turn out to be so, given the ease with which it is possible to “land” on inappropriate pages or channels. “We must be very careful because on media devices, unlike television, even if there are more useful and captivating contents, there is the risk of ending up on advertising pages without the child realizing it”. Tablets are useful in many situations, there are excellent contents, exercises for the school, games and pastimes; however, you have to choose the right ones and pay attention to the times of use».

When the media devices addiction is already in place

Then there are the teenagers. How to tell if I am already, or are entering, a smartphone addiction? The first alarm bell is temptation: that difficulty in resisting the urge to use the cell phone, that frantic desire to continually check it so as to become even irritable or anxious in a period of abstinence. The pediatrician suggests that one way to understand if the boy is entering an addiction is to ask him if he is aware of the fact that he is using the cell phone for a longer period than he would like, or if he would like to reduce the time taken, but all times that he tries he fails.

Another wake-up call is the inability to go into “night mode “when getting into bed. Many young people put their cell phones on the bedside table, perhaps without a ringtone, but with a vibration. This is a bad habit because it interferes with sleep and leads to an early awakening which then affects the whole of the next day, emphasizes the specialist.

Behaviors of a physical and psychological nature

Persistent physical and psychological behaviors, on the other hand, are alarm bells of an addiction already underway. For the former, just think of visual disturbances (burning in the eyes), headache, weight change and “tech neck”, the pain syndrome in the neck due to incorrect position while watching the screen.

On the psychological side, however, the pediatrician explains that “one of the strongest signs is that the boy has a compromise of all social relationships, that is, that he remains increasingly closed in on himself, in a parallel digital world that distances him from real life”. If the inability to resist the cell phone is so great and so strong, the kid also gets to put himself in dangerous situations such as not paying attention while crossing the street. These are all factors that together make it possible to understand that the time has come to intervene.

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