Screen time has had a huge impact in the way kids play and socialize. In the 42 years that I have had the school I have seen a drastic change in kid’s attention, coordination, and attitudes. There are lots of studies out talking about why this is the case. Some studies say its preservatives & chemicals in our foods, over medicating, inoculations, environmental exposures and even genetics. There are more and more studies coming out talking about how screens are impacting kid’s attention and more.
I’m a firm believer that screens are impacting kids negatively. A recent study by JAMA Pediatrics involving 7,000 kids has been looking at the effects of screen time.
What is “Screen Time”? When I was a kid the only screen was the TV screen. Now “screens” also includes tablets, handheld games, gaming consoles, cell phones and computers. Whether it is a tv show, Minecraft, TikTok or Mario Brothers it all involves no physical activity. Games are also so much faster paced than reality is. It makes everything else “boring”!
“Screens overly stimulate neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, important for mental health” says Roger McFillin. This can disrupt their normal functions and lead to ADHD, development delays and even depression.
Screen time in older kids also impacts aggression and good decision making. Video games are also not known for displaying model behavior!
Screen Time Affects:
- Screen time impacts language development in younger kids
- Over stimulates flight or fight = aggressive behavior
- Lack of physical activity
- Stunts emotional growth
- Stunts social interaction and behaviors
- Develops isolation and depression
- Develops false expectations of reality
- Lack of coordination
Too much time on the screen creates children who are less able to socialize and communicate with others, and less likely to participate in activities without being disappointed. Video games create a false timeline. Things happen so fast and so often that reality just can’t keep up. So the result is a dissatisfaction in normal activities. Now kids can’t focus in school or even at karate because it’s not moving as fast as their video games. This isn’t healthy.
Medicating our children often just masks the problem, it’s not dealing with cause. Discuss your concerns with your doctors and make sure you know the benefits and risks. There are situations in which it can help, but not always. Sometimes just working with your child to limit screen time and maximize other activities will help a lot. Nothing can replace your love and attention!
What can you do?
- Don’t use the TV/video games as a baby sitter
- Limit screen time to weekends or only 30 minutes a day
- Be actively involved in what your child does – watch them do karate & talk about it
- GET THEM INVOLVED WITH SOMETHING PHYSICAL LIKE KARATE
- Don’t let them be a quitter
Physical activities like Karate can have a big influence on children. It helps improve their fitness and coordination. It’s fun and exciting but it’s also about training hard, setting goals and achieving them, working hard and repetitively to build skills. It’s also social!
Let’s look at the list of affects of screen time and what karate does to help
Screen Time VS Karate
- Screen time impacts language development in younger kids – We encourage communication and respect. They have opportunities to teach as well as learn
- Over stimulates flight or fight = aggressive behavior – Karate allows kids to be physical with outlets in punching & kicking bags. We also set boundaries on when fighting is appropriate
- Lack of physical activity – Karate is full of activity
- Stunts emotional growth – We teach good sportsmanship and how to work with partners
- Stunts social interaction and behaviors – They are given plenty of opportunities to work with fellow students and teachers
- Develops isolation and depression – Our karate dojo is a family where we all work together for the better of each other
- Develops false expectations of reality – Mortal combat is all about “fighting techniques” but it’s not reality. They get an opportunity to see how things work in a safe atmosphere
- Lack of coordination – We employ lots of drills and techniques to help build coordination
Our children are our future & they need our attention and support. They need to have boundaries and opportunities. If you aren’t already a student – try a class today. Consider joining as a parent and make it a family experience.