We are living in a world that is technically advanced. Everywhere we go there are computers and phones and all types of other electronic devices. Teenagers and adults alike are on their smart phones so much that it’s hard to find someone looking up these days while they wait in lines or even while waiting for the traffic light to turn green! If we adults are this engrossed with our various electronic devices, surely our children will be too no matter how much we try to protect them from it. When they see mom and dad on their phones watching a video, texting or talking on it often, it’s not surprising that they want to do the same thing.
There’s no doubt that our children will be exposed to some screen time whether it’s watching kids’ shows on the television/computer or playing games (educational or not) on the phone. But, the important thing is to try to limit their screen time. All recent studies show that children are spending way too much time in front of various electronic devices.
And it’s not just in the United States that children are exposed to too much screen time; it’s all over the world. I was just recently reading an article from Time Magazine online that there’s a new law in Taiwan which will hold parents accountable, meaning parents will be forced to be pay a large amount of money if their children “stare at screens for so long that its causes them to become ill, either physically or mentally.” There’s a good reason for why some countries are going to such extremes to protect children from being in front of the TV or other electronics.
Unfortunately, too much screen time equals to too much physical and psychological problems for children. Some of those problems include sleep problems, attention disorders, and learning difficulties, just to name a few. Spending too much time watching videos and playing games can also lead to lack of physical movement which in turn can cause being overweight or obese in children.
As Muslims we must not fall into the trap of letting our children becoming couch potatoes. However way you can get your children to NOT become addicted to shows, games or serving the internet, do it!
Here are five ways to protect your children from becoming too attached to electronic devices:
1. Limit Time
Make sure you limit their time and don’t budge against their cries to have ‘just five more minutes.’ Set a time limit like maybe 30 minutes for younger children 3-5 years, and one hour or two at the most for children older than that.
2. Get out of the house
Get the children out more often whether it’s to the library, playgrounds, masjid or wherever else. Children especially when they’re younger have a lot of energy to burn. If they’re home all day they won’t be tired and they will want to just watch videos or play games.
3. Keep them busy when at home
Have them do homework, Quran studies, have story times or chores; have them doing something which requires no screen time.
4. Have nothing but beds in the bedroom
Make sure there is no television or computer or any other electronic device in the children’s rooms! This is one of the worst things a parent can do to a child. Besides the many negative health effects like keeping children from sleeping, having a TV or computer in your child’s room is dangerous. You have no idea what they can be watching in there. Protect their innocence and monitor what they’re watching at all times.
5. Be a good example
Let your children see you reading or doing something else that’s more productive other than just sitting and watching something. Kids are copycats especially when they’re young.
Did you like this article or found it helpful? If you answered yes, then Alhamdulilah! Spread the kheyr and share it with whoever you think will benefit from it. Jazaakumulahu kheyran!