How Smartphones Impact Child Mental Health, According to Therapists
The CDC estimates that around 19.3 percent of kids fit the criteria for obesity. Additionally, a whopping 13 percent of those kids are between 2-5 years old. How can this not impact the child’s mental health?
Overweight children are more likely to be picked on in school, have low self-esteem, and sit on the sidelines throughout life. This can cause further issues when it’s time to go to college, get a job, and provide for their families.
Tips for Controlling Smartphone Addiction to Improve Child Mental Health
Most parents don’t see how these behaviors start at a young age but can affect people through adulthood. Here are some tips for how to control technology in your home, including smartphones, TVs, computers, and all other electronic devices.
- Set strict limits on screentime
- Make outside play mandatory.
- Interact with the children through board games and other types of play
- Please don’t give a child under ten years of age their phone
- Use smartphone monitoring apps to control where your child goes online
- Have times when the entire family unplugs and does things the old-fashioned or manual way
There are many benefits to using technology early, but some significant drawbacks can affect your child’s mental health. By implementing some boundaries for cell phone usage, you can control many issues. According to the American Pediatric Association, here is the recommended amount of screen time per age.
- Birth to 18 Months – Only video chats for short periods
- 18-24 Months – Short, educational programing only on occasion
- 2-5 Years – One hour a day of educational programming and three hours on the weekend
- 6-13 Years – 90 minutes of screentime for regular content, and two hours for educational
- 14-18 Years – Set content guidelines as well as screentime based on the child’s needs
Final Thoughts on Impact of Childs Mental Health and Smartphones
Technology is hard to escape these days, as it’s everywhere around you. However, you should control how much time they spend on a smartphone when it comes to your children. It’s just not a good idea for an eight-year-old child to have a phone, as they’re not mentally mature enough for such a responsibility.
The biggest mistake you can make as a parent is to use electronics for babysitting for you. Sure, it might buy you a few minutes of peace, but it’s going to cause you more significant problems down the road. A sedentary child is at a higher risk of developing obesity, ADHD and being socially inept.
While telling your child “No” is often challenging, you can assure yourself that setting healthy boundaries on technology is imperative for your child’s mental health.