The cellphone has become an extension of our bodies and that is not a good thing, especially for children. I recently saw a mother, her daughter (approx. 12 years old), and son (approx. 9 years old) walking in the mall, and they each had a cellphone in their hand. We are raising a generation of distracted children who need constant dings and pings to feel “connected.”
Children are losing the ability to stay focused on a task for more than five minutes. This causes them to miss chucks of information, which makes it difficult for them to keep up in school.
A 2020 study showed that 50 percent of children with cellphones are addicted to their phones. These are children who will choose using their phones over getting a good nights rest or learning in school.
Here are two ways to help children develop a healthy relationship with their electronic devises.
Restrict where children take their phone. Remember, every child doesn’t need a device. My son, who is a senior now, didn’t get a cellphone until he was in the tenth grade. He survived, but more importantly, he thrived. I’ve caught students listening to music while I’m teaching. Then they complain that they don’t understand the information…really? Does your ten-year-old need to take a phone and wireless earbuds to school? Do they need it on a trip to the mall or dinner with family?
Regulate usage. Getting proper sleep is not a suggestion, it’s a necessity. Too many students tell me they are up until 1:00am or 3:00am texting or playing video games. Proper sleeping helps children to stay focus throughout the day, retain the information they learned that day, and increase brain heath. Take their phones, unplug the internet, and/or remove the plug from their gaming console at a given hour so they are not tempted to use it at night.
Be mindful that these devises are changing your children’s brains. They are developing a need for constant stimulation, which directly impacts their ability to learn, think, and mature.