When I say tablet in the title of this article I mean any type of electronic device such as a smartphone or similar. Many professionals talk about tech-free zones so that family relationships are nurtured rather than weakened. There is research on children’s sleep, family bonding, and child development that allows us to assess different times when children should not use technology during the day.
In addition, when children stop using new technologies for a long time, some of the negative side effects associated with when children they spend too much time in front of screens.
Before making changes in your children’s routine, you need to sit down with them and talk about the reasons for changing the rules. Highlight the negative consequences that you have seen since these devices are used too much, such as lack of sleep or lack of time to be together. Encourage your child to understand it and even if he doesn’t want to accept it from the beginning -especially if he is very used to it-, he will be able to adapt. Provide helpful solutions and brainstorming to solve this problem.
The new rules will need to be followed and your child may be a little frustrated at first but it will be over as soon as get used to the new routines. I’m not referring to never using the tablet or technology again, but rather to avoid doing so in the following times of the day.
There is research on the time and use of electronic devices and doing it before going to sleep does not have good consequences. If it is used before going to sleep, sleep appears later and people sleep fewer hours in general -and this is true for both children and adults-. The light emitted by screens interrupts our natural melatonin function and makes it more difficult to fall asleep.
To prevent this from happening, it is ideal for the bedroom to be a free zone of technology -for all household members-. Lack of sleep in adolescents -and adults- is associated with attention problems, depression and even impaired driving.
Before going to school
The use of any screen before going to school is a ingrained habit that at some point made the life of parents easier but the reality is that a child who looks at a screen will not be able to feed or dress himself correctly since he has learned to look at the screen while his caregiver scolds him for don’t do these things.
The screen these moments so as not to deprive children of the satisfaction of being able to take care of themselves and dress themselves, putting on their shoes and gathering their belongings for their day. Remove the tablet or any screen from your children’s morning routines as they would only contribute to a morning full of chaos.
In addition, the children’s brain must be prepared for the school day ahead and watching television or being in front of a screen can have a negative effect on children’s executive functions. Attention and memory skills can be impaired.
There are natural times for connection and conversation with children and dinner time is one of them. There is research that shows that having dinner regularly with the family is associated with higher and better academic performance, increased self-esteem, lower risk of delinquency and also the chances of suffering from depression are reduced. When there is a phone on the table, the quality of the conversation changes and people are less connected to each other.Eliminate any type of screen at dinner time and you will always appreciate it.