Today’s Babysitter – Electronics

Angry boy blowing steam

Image from Psychology Today article

I admit it.  Sometimes I call on the babysitter (aka iPad or TV) and let the kids’ minds just melt.  I have to get things done and if I want to get anything done with them in presence, I give in and let an electronic babysit for a little bit.  Recently though, I’ve noticed that the kids become a bit…agitated and rude.  I thought it was a coincidence at first and I would point it out to them.  Then it become more consistent.  I thought – no, it can’t be.  Just my imagination.  They need to just go outside and play for a bit.

So, I would turn off the TV and/or the iPad and shoo them outside into the backyard.  They would be grumpy and fight me on it at first but maybe a little more than 5 minutes later, they were having a great time!  Strange, right?

Then this article from Psychology Today came out.  While I do not believe my children have any emotional or behavioral issues, I think the point of the article is that we probably should decrease screen time.  It’s been said before but now with additional information.  I understand that kids learn in different ways so, as always, moderation is key.

Here are the 6 effects they talk about.

  1. Screen-time disrupts sleep and desynchronizes the body clock.
  2. Screen-time desensitizes the brain’s reward system.
  3. Screen-time produces “light-at-night.”
  4. Screen-time induces stress reactions.
  5. Screen-time overloads the sensory system, fractures attention, and depletes mental reserves.
  6. Screen-time reduces physical activity levels and exposure to “green-time.”

Check out the article.  I’d love to hear what you all think about it.

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