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This is a guest post by Tom Hardy, co-founder/editor at Toy Advisors
I’ve to say that I am not guilty of letting my children spend too much time, sometimes, in front of screens, or letting them watch too much television. I know, though, that I need to monitor, and stop children playing games online too much. Read more for Health and Wellness for kids…
I want them to grow up to be healthy and strong, both physically, and mentally. Spending too much time indoors, slumped on a couch, or in the bedroom, has serious consequences that parents need to know about.
Healthy Habits Are Learnt at Home
Did you know that Americans are some of the least active people in the world? I know that’s not you! Some people in other country’s cycle all over the place (by choice), they ride to work, to school, and for exercise. In Holland, Dutch families ride everywhere – the whole family will cycle and everyone owns bicycles and they are used every day!
Being active and having an active lifestyle starts with the lessons you learn as a child. Healthy habits are learned at home. If I don’t set a good example for my kids, then they run a higher risk of being overweight and obese adults. How do you stop kids from being online all the time? It’s time to get active!
Get Physically Active Today & Make a Fitness Schedule
It’s easy to have goofed off and after a long day at work, I really don’t feel like being active. All I’d like to do is have a big glass of wine, enjoy supper, family time, and put the kids to bed. Sound good? This is not good for my well being or my children, and I’m working to change my bad habits. I need to exercise more, and so do my children.
We’ve started going for a walk, together, as soon as I get home from work. I want to prevent and object obesity in children. Walking is free, and we have a chance to talk to.
Screen Time Is Anti-Social
Yes, social networking, and sites like Facebook, are amazing and help us to stay in touch, but, it can be anti-social for children (or anyone) to spend too much time online. The ability to make friends, and communicate in general, is learned at home. Children learn to speak properly, and how to make friends, during real life interactions.
I like my children to enjoy educational games and to explore the world around them, and spend time with real friends, not just online ones. It really doesn’t all have to happen on a screen. Have you tried to have a conversation with a teenager who is glued to their phone? You’re lucky if you get a grunt, in reply. Learning to speak properly, and to make friends, isn’t learned on a screen.
Self Confidence Is Not Learnt on a Screen
I love my kids, and they have unique and beautiful personalities. Growing up is hard enough to do. Children face challenges all the time in life – their self-esteem is still developing, and their identity is not as strong as yours, or mine. They are learning about the world around them, and too much screen time will stop that process of development, in a very unhealthy way.
Social and emotional growth is a part of our development – starting from childhood, and carries on, through adulthood. Developing a healthy self-esteem can be stunted by spending too much time online. Emotional development can also be retarded when children spend too much time on their own. Social and emotional development happens together, in real time, not online.
Screen Time Can Damage Your Children’s Eye Health
I do worry about my own eyes and my children’s vision. Ophthalmologists and optometrists report that computer eye strain is becoming one of the most common complaints that people have, even in children too. Our eyes are not designed to look at screens for such a long time.
Children are even more vulnerable than adults, and forget to blink. This happens naturally, and the eyeball gets dry. I worry about my kids needing glasses and straining their eyes. I’m very strict about how much time they are allowed to spend online these days; I stop children playing game online too much.
Online Games Are Not Healthy
I love my kids to play outside. They get vitamin D, and I know that their bones will be grown healthy and strong and that they won’t get rickets! Did you know that rickets is coming back? It’s true – for children to develop healthy bones they need calcium rich diets, and the sunshine too. Our bodies and most foods don’t make Vitamin D.
We get it from the sun, and it makes us strong. It’s added to some foods, and you can take supplements, but the best way to get it is to go outside. Doctors have seen children with poorly formed bones as a result of spending too much time inside and glued to screens. I love it when my kids are playing outside, I know that they are staying healthy and active, and getting a Vitamin D boost!
I want to prevent and object obesity in children, so I stop children playing games online too much. I want to set a good example and help my children learn great habits I want my children to have good social skills, and to be confident adults. I know that children spend far too much time online, and it can be very dangerous too – both for their health, and general well being, which can be badly affected by too much screen time.
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Melissa Schollaert is a Holistic Health & Nutrition Counselor and founder of Real Nutritious Living. Helping others achieve their health goals to attain their healthiest, happiest life is her greatest ambition.