We all have had instances where we have felt proud of our young kids who are able to demonstrate their deftness and expertise in handling smartphones and computers. For example, I have a friend, who used to talk glowingly about his son of five years knowing more about his smartphone’s features than he himself. At that point we laughingly thought that the next generation of kids would be super-savvy with the new technologies and know so much more than us.

However, research now shows how wrong we have been all this while. Research shows that high exposure to background TV can negatively affect language development and attention spans in children under five years old. Paediatrics now point out that the effects of too much screen time far outweighs the perceived advantages of being technologically savvy.

For one kids learn problem solving skills naturally by playing and interacting in the real life world with friends, cousins and adults It is recommended that toddlers less than two years old should not be allowed any screen time at all. 

Further kids between two and five years of age should limit their screen time exposure to less than one hour a day. Kids should not spend any time on the screen at least one hour before they sleep. Parents should be concious of what kind of programs kids get to watch on their screens. Parents should choose progams with specific educational goals to encourage language and literacy development. Parents should also actively engage with their children while children use digital technology.A good use of digital technology could be introducing children to keep in touch with relatives and friends though video-chatting apps such as Facetime or Skype. 

Nevertheless, what the kids would learn in a natural environment cannot be replicated watching videos on television, computers or smartphones. It is time for all parents to start putting limits on the time their kids spend on the screen.



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