As a child growing up, there were no laptops, texting phones or Internet. What was provided was a yard for outside play, sports and being one with nature. The environment for today’s child is greatly different. Everything they need is found indoors, in some form of an electronic device.
Phones for texting friends, Internet for “virtual games” video games and TV re likely what children and teens rely on today for their entertainment. My seven year old is a pro on the computer, and has declared she wants a phone for Christmas so that she too may join in the “texting movement”. As a parent, I am glad that kids today have technology to make their lives easier, but am taking steps to prevent the technology from taking a toll on her health and well-being.
According to the American Academy of Children & Adolescent Psychiatry, or (AACAP), between 16 percent and 33 percent of our nation’s youth is considered obese. While family history could play a part, typically poor eating habits and lack of exercise are the main culprits in this rising trend. It seems more kids tend to remain indoors with snack foods and electronic gadgets, instead of being outdoors and being active. Relating through phones and chat messages have taken the place of participating with friends in sporting activities in many children’s lives.
There have also been reports that children that watch many hours of television are more likely to have ADD or ADHD. These attention-deficit concerns have been linked back to numerous hours spent in front of a television.
Children who watch less TV on a daily basis, are less likely to show signs of ADD or ADHD. It is reported that the fast changing colors and scenes on a television, when watched often, can can a child’s brain to learn to “constantly run’, sending various thoughts throughout, not allowing a child to concentrate on the task at hand.
The world of technology has increased greatly over the years, and has made daily life so much easier. But, with every advance, there is always a negative side. These new gadgets and entertainment items are good for kids, but there should be time limits and restrictions to them. Kids and teens still need to have time for exercise and for being outdoors. A family dinner should still take precedence over the new video game.
The introduction of a new generation should be accepted, but staple parts of our lives should remain. Healthy eating, exercising and being a well-rounded person should always be top priority in every youth’s life.