After explaining to my two year old this morning that I “lost” my phone so he can’t play/watch videos whilst watching breakfast, it got me wondering; do my husband and I rely on devices too much to entertain him? I try not to expose him too much except for the weekend when he’s home, and I may need five minutes to rest or get things done.
Am I setting up bad habits that will cause irreparable damage to his developing brain? TV programs can be great and educational, but there are studies that show too much screen time can cause sensory overload and affects sleep. It also affects grey matter in our brains, and yes the irony is not lost on me that I am on a screen right now typing this. Did you know that there is a disorder for those addicted to screens, and that too much exposure produces dopamine in our brains? I know my child’s exposure is minimal to mine, but we live in a society where most of the population have an addiction to screens and it’s affecting us and potentially causing damage. I remember reading a study on teenagers and how the impact of such screen time can cause. They went through a study which involved no use of their phone/devices for a period of time. They went through withdrawal symptoms not dissimilar to those addicted to drugs. Are we raising our children to be addicted to technology and all that it offers? I’m sure my age group didn’t have as much screen time as the kids of today do. Why has times changed so much, are we so busy that we can’t find other ways to be with or teach our children?
Are we so switched on, that we can’t switch off? When was the last time I went to bed without checking my phone?
And to the researches out there: What do I do when my second child comes and my first is vying for my attention – but I can’t give it to him, so I just turn the telly on so I can cope? Do I tell my 2 year old to suck it up, because Mummy can’t call up family as they live so far away? What the hell did my parents do, living so far away from their families? Research sucks, because I see the evidence of that research in my own life. I don’t want my children to grow up with my addictions and bad habits, but I don’t know what to do to change either.
– By one very confused screen addicted mother who is trying to get by in this life without too many stresses.