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These 10 Reasons Will Convince Anyone To Stop Giving Children Handheld Devices

These 10 Reasons Will Convince Anyone To Stop Giving Children Handheld Devices

Studies have shown that infants 0-2 years should not be exposed to any technology, children 3-5 years old should be limited to an hour a day, and ages 6-18 should be limited to two hours a day. This might sound strict – and I certainly remember watching more than two hours of TV when I was a teenager – but there are reasons these recommendations are in place.

1. Rapid Brain Growth

Rapid brain growth is affected by technology. From the ages of 0-2, infants’ brains triple in size! This rapid growth continues until you’re 21 years old. While your brain is developing, it’s important to use a wide variety of motor skills instead of just staring at a screen. It’s more important to learn how to grasp things, turn things, button buttons and zip zippers than it is to know how to poke at a graphic.

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2. Sleep Deprivation

Even as an adult, you know how hard it is to turn off the phone and go to sleep! If I can’t sleep, I pick up my phone and start playing games, and before I know it, morning’s arrived. Imagine if you’re a kid with all this technology at your fingertips. I didn’t have a computer in my room as a kid, but it was hard enough for me to get off the family computer at bedtime. If I could have stayed online all hours of the night, I know I would have. It’s too easy to deprive yourself of sleep when you think you have something better going on. Restricting usage of technology and handheld devices will help ensure your child gets enough sleep.

3. Digital Dementia

Studies show being exposed to so much media so fast increases occurrences of attention deficit disorder. Watching so much on a screen causes your brain to “prune” the neuronal tracks that run to the frontal lobe, which decreases your ability to concentrate and form memories. When you’re a child, not being able to pay attention means you won’t be able to learn and retain information.

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4. Delayed Development

If you’re just sitting around, staring and poking at a touch screen, your body isn’t using its muscles enough for development. Physical movement enhances a child’s ability to learn and pay attention, so it’s important they use a lot of their body for playing and learning as they grow.

5. Epidemic Obesity

Obesity is a logical concern if you’re talking about children sitting and staring at a screen instead of going outside to play. Studies have shown that children with a TV in their bedrooms have a 30% increased occurrence of obesity. Limiting children’s exposure to technology and encouraging them to exercise and play outside will help decrease chances of diabetes, strokes, and heart attacks later in life.

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6. Aggression

There is a lot of back and forth on the argument that violent games cause children to act violently, but it’s true that children re-enact things they see. Being exposed to violence, sexual deviance, and gore at a young age will influence them. It’s also possible that they will be more aggressive just because playing games can be frustrating at times, when you’re so close to winning and then mess up. I’ll admit to throwing a game controller or two…

7. Mental Illness

An overexposure to technology has been shown to increase childhood depression, autism, anxiety, attention deficit disorder, attachment disorders, bipolar disorder, psychosis, and problematic behavior. It’s better for children to engage in physical and social activities away from technology.

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8. Unsustainable Lifestyle

Yes, technology is unavoidable in today’s society, and everyone should know how to use it. But if it’s all children are ever exposed to, then it’s all they’ll know. It’s important for children to be well-rounded, so they’ll have more opportunities open to them as they grow.

9. Radiation Emissions

Children’s brains are still developing, so they are more sensitive to radiation emissions coming from handheld devices. The World Health Organization has classified wireless devices as emitting possible carcinogens, which means you can’t be too careful. Whether the emissions are cancerous or not, they can still affect the development of a child’s brain and immune system.

10. Addictions

As adults we are often addicted to technology, which means we are detaching from social situations around us – including being with our kids. This sets a bad example for the kids because they think it’s OK to do the same. They also aren’t being interacted with as much, so they turn to technology themselves. When playing with technology is one of the only things you have to do, it’s incredibly easy to get addicted!

Featured photo credit: tinkerbard via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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