Alongside the hustle and bustle of mommy-life, it can be easy to slip into bad habits, like letting your child play with a smartphone or even have their own one. Though it may seem like an easy way to get some alone time and keep them occupied, the dangers of smartphone usage outweigh the benefits.
They Replace Parent/Child Relationships
Yes, a smartphone might distract your child while you’re busy. Unfortunately, you can’t let them use the device and then expect them to give it up as easily as they got it. You’re going to end up actually wanting to spend time with your child, and they want to be on their smartphone. They’re so impressionable and forming a parental relationship is essential for life. “You need your child to know that they should come to you when they’re scared or need guidance, rather than just Googling it”, is how psychologist Mary Reyes from Eliteassignmenthelp and Best Essay Writing Service puts it.
That’s One Expensive Toy!
“What shocks me the most”, discusses education writer Lana Murphy “is that parents are willing to pay so much money on what is essentially a toy”. It’s a valid point, considering how most children who grew up with a toy bear and puzzles turned out just fine. If the detriments of the device itself aren’t enough, think of the effects on your pocket! There are plenty of suitable, more stimulating alternatives that will give your child just as much joy.
They Limit Creativity
The process of playing games or messaging on smartphones is mind-numbing for your child and, as a result, directly limits their creativity or their desire to be active and creative. The most pressing limit on creativity, though, is the never-ending options which stop them from making up their own games, which is a formative part of childhood.
It Disturbs Sleep Patterns
It’s hard enough getting your child to sleep as it is without stimulating their eyes and brain to the point where it’s not just defiance, but that they can’t actually sleep. UK Writing Service Review and Academized education writer Nicholas Kirk puts it in simple terms: “It’s like a series of simple maths problems. Eyes plus screens equal overstimulation. Overstimulation equals poor sleep. Poorly-rested children equal mayhem.”
Smartphones Are Addictive
The business model of smartphones is to keep you on the smartphone. This means that the content and games aren’t necessarily inspiring you to get out or be creative, but rather making sure you stay on it, addicted to whatever the latest game is. The games themselves have thousands of levels and rewards for loyalty, which creates a dependency that your child isn’t mature enough to understand. Most adults don’t even recognize it until they catch themselves paying for extra coins, or lives, on a biennial game they don’t even enjoy playing.
It is Physically Unhealthy
The list of reasons why smartphones are bad for your brain, or your mental health, or even your creativity are perfectly valid. But what can often be misrepresented or poorly understood is the overarching effect on your child physically. They are getting less exercise sitting on a phone over playing outside, they are absorbing less vitamin D from being indoors rather than in the sunshine, and they are often being influenced by advertisers to eat unhealthy food or drink sugary drinks. Overall, it is a health no-no.
It Causes Bullying
There are two edges to this sword - smartphones can both result in your child being bullied, and it can turn them into a bully. The trouble is not necessarily that your child is inherently mean or sensitive, or even that these young bullies are trying to hurt people. But when they’re exposed from such a young age to violence, media and the scary world of the internet and strangers, they become desensitised and more prone to violence.
In conclusion, a smartphone is not a toy, a learning device or an alternative to sleep or entertainment. Though they have their perks, these benefits can only be properly understood with maturity. Cut out the middle-man (or in this case, the smartphone) to be a better parent.
Written by Aimee Laurence
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