Staring into the blue light
Most of the research on screen time focuses on kids, because, after all, that’s where the biggest difference in lifestyle is. Adults may stare at computers all day as a simple matter of course because under obvious scenarios it is hard to find standard 9-to-5 job that doesn’t involve a screen. However, children are supposed to be gleefully climbing trees, throwing apples and engaging in other traditional manifestations of childhood, not staring at a smartphone for hours on end.
Being concerned about whether children are spending too much time around screens is not exactly a new worry, but it’s a field where some interesting new conclusions have been found recently. To understand and make parents aware of the long term harmful effects of screen on children, a workshop was conducted by Ms Ophelia Lobo, Counselor. The objective of the workshop was not only to equip parents with the information on screen exposure and its effects, but also to empower them to change screen-time habits at home.
Parents were taken through a series of causes as to why parents these days look at screen-time as ‘play/learning time’, at the same time not realizing the effects it has on their child’s brain and development. Screen-time is addictive and can take over the entire range of interests, hobbies and skills of a child. Therefore, it cannot be used to substitute real-time play. The workshop strongly focused on the damages of screen-tme in the following aspects:
Effects on –
- Brain and its development
- Emotional wellbeing
- Social skills
- Fine and gross motor skills
Parents also shared how their kids throw tantrums and were taken through what they can do to manage such behaviour. Many activities to replace this habit were also spoken about. There were some activities throughout the interaction and parents were real game while participating. What was really appreciated was not only their interaction but also their receptiveness in understanding the true effects of digital screens. Towards the end, parents were also educated about parental control apps, softwares, child friendly websites, and other aspects such as installing spyware and anti-virus to avoid cyber-dangers.