Thursday July 18, 2019

Grandparents Play Vital Role in Screen Addiction Habits for Kids

We need to educate grandparents about the impact of technology on children's lives and on its proper use that will benefit them

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Representational image for elders.
Grandparents play big role in kids' screen addiction habits. Pixabay

While parents usually take the blame for spoiling their kids by letting them spend huge amounts of time with high-tech electronics, grandparents are to be equally blamed for screen addiction in children.

Grandparents have long been associated with letting their grandchildren do things their parents would never permit, such as extended bedtime, too much television time, and carefree fun.

In the study published in the Journal of Children and Media, researchers found that today’s grandparents are still true to their traditional fun-loving image – allowing their grandchildren, while under their supervision, to spend about half of their time on a mobile phone, tablet, computer or TV.

The study reviewed the experiences of 356 grandparents of children aged 2-7 who take care of their grandchildren at least once per week and found that during an average four-hour visit, the children spent two hours either watching videos or playing games on electronic devices.

Most of the experts suggest that grandparents should restrict technology use by setting simple rules for screen time when babysitting. This is particularly needed when children bring a device from home and expect to watch even more.

The unconditional love-shower of parents and grandparents can go to the point of spoiling children, said Pallavi Joshi, Clinical Psychologist at Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute in Delhi.

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Young kids who watch more TV get less sleep. Pixabay

“Over the past few years, grandparents’ responsibilities for their grandchildren have increased due to changes and issues in families and society.

“If we focus particularly at the extreme amount of screen time the kids devote to the idiot box (TV), parents and grandparents may be blamed for the same, as they do not oppose this habit,” Joshi told IANS.

“It’s just another sweet way for them to spend more time with children. But this habit should be kept in check before it becomes an issue,” she added.

Increased screen time may critically impact a child’s development and have several negative consequences; it can stimulate the way a child behaves, even in the long run, as well as make them less physically active. Now, not all screen time is detrimental, but families need to develop limited, healthy screen habits.

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“Gadgets have started replacing traditional ways of engaging with children at home. Even with grandparents at home, it is getting increasingly difficult to curtail the screen time for young children. A lot of grandparents are unaware of the effects of excessive screen time,” a Child Psychologist said.

We need to educate grandparents about the impact of technology on children’s lives and on its proper use that will benefit them. (IANS)

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Kids Who are Mocked by Parents at Greater Risk of Becoming Bullies

Constant criticism affects the self-esteem of a child, especially when done by parents

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Derisive behaviour is a unique form of parenting that increases the risk of adolescent children adopting inappropriate anger management strategies that increases their risk for peer difficulties. Pixabay

Dear parents, please take note. Kids who are mocked by parents are at a greater risk of becoming bullies and its victim too, researchers said, stressing that many bullies come from hostile, punitive and rejecting backgrounds.

According to experts, derisive behaviour is a unique form of parenting that increases the risk of adolescent children adopting inappropriate anger management strategies that increases their risk for peer difficulties.

“Constant criticism affects the self-esteem of a child, especially when done by parents. Children tend to feel inferior and lose their sense of confidence. This affects their relationship with parents, making them more vulnerable to various other forms of bullying that happen through their peers.

“Due to hesitation in seeking help, children end up enduring bullying. This has a long-term negative effect on their psyche and overall personality development,” Samir Parikh, Consultant Psychiatrist at Fortis Hospital in Delhi, told IANS.

Kids, Parents, Bullies
Kids who are mocked by parents are at a greater risk of becoming bullies and its victim too. Pixabay

Derisive parents use demeaning or belittling expressions that humiliate and frustrate the child, without any obvious provocation from the child. These parents respond to child engagement with criticism, sarcasm, put-downs, hostility and rely on emotional and physical coercion to obtain compliance.

Published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, the study in which researchers followed 1,409 children (aged 13-15 years) for three consecutive years, emphasized on the emotional underpinnings of peer difficulties.

It was found that derisive parenting fosters dysregulated anger in adolescent children. Increases in dysregulated anger, in turn, place adolescents at greater risk for bullying and victimization.

Dysregulated anger is indicative of difficulties regulating emotion, which typically results in negative emotions, verbal and physical aggression and hostility.

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The behaviour of parents as well as other close family members towards children does have a lasting impact on their personality and mental development, said mental health expert Prakriti Poddar, Director at Poddar Foundation in Mumbai.

“Subjecting a child to insult, mockery or derision creates a wave of repressed anger and frustration in the child. Imagine a child telling a parent or another family member about an incident or about his/her understanding of a subject, and the parent responding by mocking or belittling the child! Now imagine, if this happens regularly. Not only will the child lose trust in the parent and stop confiding things, he/she will also grow into a vexed and confused personality,” Poddar told IANS.

“This child would not be confident about himself, will have repressed feelings of frustration and in a way will also start normalizing the behaviour of insulting of belittling others. This creates problems with peer adjustment and might lead the child to start victimizing or bullying others. kids develop in response to their environment, therefore, when their environment is toxic or negative, it breeds self-harm,” she added. (IANS)