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Include Digital Downtime In This Year’s Resolutions

Technology is such an essential part of our lives; it’s difficult to remember what we did without it. Kids these days will never know what life was like before we had smartphones and endless information at our fingertips. There are many benefits to our digital advances; it is a resource that can be used to advance our education and communication, but there are also negative impacts. These negative impacts are especially real for children. Our children are born into this technological world and are accessing it at very young ages. During these crucial early years, technology can impact development. A study known as the Connected Kids Report published research that concluded kids between the age of five and sixteen have six and a half hours of screen time per day. Similar to adults, technology can impact the way kids socialize. It can decrease time spent with peers, playing and building on their imagination skills. Time that may typically be spent outside playing and being active is now spent inside sitting in front of a television. This can lead to children feeling isolated and increased symptoms of depression. The lack of physical activity can also lead to child obesity. There are ways to combat these issues. As a parent, initiate digital downtime. Limit how much time is spent on cell phones or watching TV and encourage other activities. Technology can be used as a reward rather than sole entertainment. Lead by example as well. Limit how much time you as a parent spend on your phone. Kids are impressionable and the more you use your phone, the more they will. For more information on monitoring your child’s tech time, visit https://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/Media/Pages/Tips-for-Parents-Digital-Age.aspx.

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