* collaborative guest post

Remember the good old days of our childhood? We used to spend the majority of our times outdoors playing, bicycling, building castles, playing imaginary games etc. In the past, family time was an essential part of our daily routines. Every day at dinner, we used to interact with our family members and talk about our day. This way the mutual bonding between the parents and their children grew stronger and the physical growth of children was improved.

On the contrary, the children of this century are contained virtually. Many kids are homebound and have no desire for outdoor activities. One of the major factor for this type of behavior among children is the modern family system. Today’s families are completely different. They rely on technology for their everyday tasks. There is less daily family times or frequent outdoor trips. They rely on entertainment technology for their family leisure times. As a result, the sensory and motor development of children and their physical growth suffers a lot. According to a study conducted in 2010 by the Kaiser foundation, it was found that; elementary aged children usually spend 7.5 hours of their daily time in front of screens, 75% children have TVs in their bedrooms and 50% of children in North America can watch TV all day.

When children depend completely on electronic gadgets for their play and entertainment, their physical activities are hindered. Without exposure to outdoor activities, children don’t develop properly. This is the prime concern among parents with toddlers as they’re in their developing ages. This overuse of technology can cause severe problems like ADHD, autism, sleep disorders, sensory processing disorder, coordination disorder, developmental delay, unintelligible speech and many more. Child obesity and diabetes are also caused due to this lack of mobility among the children.

Being parents, it should be our topmost priority to ensure that our children are not overusing technology. You can control this by managing their screen timings e.g. they should be allowed to use any type of screen for a limited time during the day like 1-2 hours a day. For older children who have their own cellphones, you can install apps like spy apps for android. These apps allow you to keep a complete track of your child’s WhatsApp, Snapchat, Facebook and other apps etc. and you can easily control the phone usage of your child as well.

In order, to achieve a balanced and healthy development of your child, you should try to keep things moderate. If you allow your children to use technology then ensure that they are involved in physical activities as well. Make sure that your children spend at least 1-2 hours outdoors because nature and greenery has a calming influence on the children’s health. A calm and relaxed environment will also help in restoring their diverted attention and will promote learning.