Wednesday November 20, 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)

Next Story

40% Parents Struggle to see Depression Signs in Kids: Study

Most parents also believe schools should play a role in identifying potential depression, with seven in 10 supporting depression screening starting in middle school, the study said

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In boys it is previous depressive symptoms which determine subsequent suicidal ideation. Pixabay

Telling the difference between a teen’s normal ups and downs or something bigger is among the top challenges parents face while identifying depression among the youth, says a new study.

Forty per cent of parents struggle to differentiate between normal mood swings and signs of depression, while 30 per cent are tricked as their child hides his/her feelings well, according to a new national poll in the US.

The C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health at the University of Michigan, is based on responses from 819 parents with at least one child in middle school, junior high, or high school.

“In many families, the preteen and teen years bring dramatic changes both in youth behaviour and in the dynamic between parents and children,” said poll co-director Sarah Clark.

“These transitions can make it particularly challenging to get a read on children’s emotional state and whether there is possible depression,” Clark added.

According to the researchers, some parents might be overestimating their ability to recognise depression in the mood and behaviour of their own child.

An overconfident parent may fail to pick up on the subtle signals that something is amiss.

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Depression is among the leading causes of disability in the U.S. and is being closely monitored by health authorities amid rising suicides nationwide. Pixabay

The poll also suggests that the topic of depression is all too familiar for middle and high school students.

One in four parents say their child knows a peer or classmate with depression, and one in 10 say their child knows a peer or classmate who has died by suicide.

This level of familiarity with depression and suicide is consistent with recent statistics showing a dramatic increase in suicide among US youth over the past decade.

Rising rates of suicide highlight the importance of recognising depression in youth.

Also Read: Study Finds No Link Between Fish Oil and Prostrate Cancer

Compared to the ratings of their own ability, parents polled were also less confident that their preteens or teens would recognise depression in themselves.

“Parents should stay vigilant on spotting any signs of potential depression in kids, which may vary from sadness and isolation to anger, irritability and acting out,” said Clark.

Most parents also believe schools should play a role in identifying potential depression, with seven in 10 supporting depression screening starting in middle school, the study said. (IANS)