Kids can certainly be a handful sometimes, and it’s always nice to get a little bit of a reprieve when they’re immersed in a TV show or a game, but as convenient as tech might be, using it as a babysitter might not benefit our kids as much as it benefits us. In the long run, it may even come back to bite us if we aren’t careful about regulating how much time our kids are spending and how they’re spending it.
So let’s explore a few reasons why you shouldn’t use tech as a babysitter.
Takes Away From Quality Time
Too much screen time can prevent you from spending quality time with your children. Although you might be getting done the things you need to, you’re missing out on some prime opportunities to connect with your child. Obviously there are times you will need (or want) a kid-free environment to accomplish certain tasks (taking a private shower comes to mind), but if you frequently allow tech to be your child’s babysitter, you’re robbing them of the moments that could deepen their relationship with you.
Potential Exposure to Inappropriate Content
Tech, although it has its upsides, contains a lot of potentially harmful content. From inappropriate TV shows to disturbing words and images on the Internet, there’s no telling what a child might accidentally stumble across. Even with strong Internet monitoring software, there are still ways that a child can knowingly or unknowingly find something inappropriate. If you aren’t there to monitor what your child is doing on tech, it’s much easier for them to find something that could be harmful to them. Instead of leaving them alone with the phone or iPad, stay with them and help them learn to navigate the Internet safely. And check out Troomi to learn how you can keep your child safe online with screen time limits, safe browsing, and KidSmart apps.
Unhealthy Reliance on Tech
Too much screen time can cause an unhealthy reliance on it. Instead of going outside to play or using their imaginations to create pictures or new games, your child may want to sit inside and play video games or watch their show. You might also start to notice that your child throws tantrums or becomes unreasonably moody when they aren’t allowed to use tech. Instead of constantly allowing tech to babysit your child, reduce screen time and organize some other activities your child can enjoy. For other signs that your child might be developing an unhealthy reliance on tech, check out this Troomi article.
Decreased Social Skills
The more time your child spends behind a screen, the less opportunity they have to meet new people and build social skills. You can help your child build the necessary social skills by spending time with them and encouraging them to spend time with friends. Though it’s true that tech can help you connect with others online, there are some social skills that are best learned in face-to-face interactions, so reduce screen time and give your child as many opportunities as possible to have in-person interaction.
Too much screen time for kids can be harmful. But the good news is, you can help your child avoid those dangers. So instead of allowing tech to be your child’s babysitter, take time to be with them, organize activities for them, and encourage them to have more in-person interactions.