I cannot say that it does not drive me nuts (many a time) seeing this scenario. Two adults and a toddler sitting a lunch or dinner table; one adult would be holding the smartphone , playing some kind of children's show . Child's eyes glued to the screen as the other adult spoon feeding the child's his/her meal. A child having the noninterested blank look on the face. This continued on thru out the meal . No communication or eye contact between family members. That is the downside and sad reality that we are seeing more and more often.
It may help the parents in the short term solution but detrimental in the long term. The simple fact of the matter is, food and company need to be enjoyed without digital distraction.
1.Children need to learn and develop social skills that come from interacting with people instead of screens
You want to set the precedent that your family is open and talks to each other.
- to share the good parts of your day as well as the bad (without burdening children with grown-up problems), rather than just asking, “How was school today?” which is likely to get you a one-word response.
- to feel as safe as possible sharing whatever is on his mind; questions they have, a social problem they are struggling with or some new interest they've developed.
2. Interaction leads to better communication, better social cues understanding and better EQ ( emotional intelligence)
The brain’s frontal lobe is the area responsible for decoding and comprehending social interactions. It is in this corner of our minds that we empathize with others, take in nonverbal cues while talking to friends and colleagues, and learn how to read the hundreds of unspoken signs – facial expression, a tone of voice, and more – that add color and depth to relationships in the real world.
if your young child is spending all of his time in front of the iPad instead of chatting and playing with you, teachers and other children, the empathetic abilities – the near-instinctive way you and I can read situations and get a feel for other people , will be affected and in some cases severely.
3. Health reasons
Food is chewed and digested better when you are focused on the meal rather than the screen leading to better food consumption and digestion.
4 Food appreciation
You are teaching the child to eat unconsciously if electronics like Ipad and smartphone are allowed during meal time . Studies have shown that we eat 25% more when you eat in front of a screen. We develop bad eating skills and habit. .As a young person, you are still developing the taste buds.
5.The Dopamine Effect
It is true in the on-screen world when every finger swipe brings about a response of colors and shapes and sounds, a child’s brain responds joyfully with the neurotransmitter dopamine, the key component in our reward system that is associated with feelings of pleasure. Dopamine hits to the brain can feel almost addictive, so when a child gets too used to an immediate stimuli response, he will learn to always prefer a smartphone-style interaction (immediate gratification and response) over a real-world one.
Electronics and digitals have a time and place,by no means, it should be completely disregarded. A child should be limited during screen time and it has been recommended that under an hour max, for is more than sufficient for young children, most definitely not during meal time.
Till next time
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