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A study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), http://www.jama.jamanetwork.com found that the more television a child is exposed to at 29 months, the more likely he or she is to have problems in school and poor health behaviors.
JAMA reported that each additional hour of television a toddler watches can potentially result in a seven percent unit decrease in classroom engagement and a thirteen percent unit decrease in weekly physical activity.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (http://www.cdc.gov), children today are three times more likely to be considered obese than they were just a generation ago. Children now spend more time with the media than they do with their family, in school, or sleeping.
In addition, kids who spend more time with media devices reportedly have a lower risk of personal contentment, and have a tendency to get in trouble more often. They also reported feeling more sad or bored than their non-media-obsessed counterparts.
In what ways can parents supervise kids’ electronic use without pushing them to crave it more? Here are 5 simple ways of reducing the amount spent online or in front of the TV:
· No TV in the bedroom – Children need to learn to associate their beds with sleep and nothing else. As long as there is a TV, iPad, or any other electronic device in the room, they would be tempted to get on it before sleep, become restless and miss out on essential and early sleep that they need in order to function fully the next morning.
· Limit the screen time – Reducing the screen time to up to 2 hours per day quality time would keep children content and leave them enough time for other activities.
· Control the Internet content – We can all find some useful contents online, so why not take advantage and direct our children to the right kind of web sites or games that would develop their skills and broaden their knowledge? Using the kids’ curiosity is a great way to get them interested in learning new things.
· Sign them up for lessons and outdoor activities – The more time a child spends outdoors interacting with other children and becomes passionate about a new hobby, the less he or she would feel the need or desire to go online all the time.
· Don’t forbid and create rules – The more controlled and limited children feel, the more they would not listen and try to secretly do what they want on purpose. Not setting obvious rules and forbidding games would be more beneficial than creating boundaries and it gives parents the chance to make the experience more knowledge-worthy and keep the time-frame short.
It is impossible to completely limit or eliminate the excitement children get from the electronic world, but as long as the quality is more valuable and time is reduced to minimum, children would be able to only get the best out of this world and won’t forget that the social interaction is more important than any virtual world.