It is common knowledge, that children’s minds work different to a fully formed adult brain. This is due to hormones and the fact the body is still growing. This also means they need a lot of rest, and fresh air. Not to mention vitamin D from the Sun.
But there is a small issue here, and that is the rise of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest and all those other apps they have free access to on their phones, tablets, computers and laptops.
There is also another issue, and this is that when children, some as young as 10, are meant to be in bed, they are constantly being bombarded with notifications from friends. This then disrupts their sleep and ultimately they pay the price the day after because they can’t get out of bed for school, and when they are in school, they’re running on empty, thus meaning they can’t concentrate and can’t learn to their full ability.
A simple thing you can do is simply confiscate the devices every night an hour before they go to bed, and give them the option of reading a book, chilling out with you and watching a little TV, or allowing them do their homework. Anything really to get their minds tired.
You could even start a parent/child project that you can both do, such as researching your family tree, or teach them to sew or knit and make a patchwork quilt.
There are also apps available to limit how long your child can spend on their phone, and if you so desire, what time it locks and on which days, literally rendering the device useless unless it’s to make an emergency call.
You can also gear your Wi-Fi router to turn off at set times and this will literally block all access to the internet, though if you’re not going to bed at the same time as your kids, this may be a little too extreme.
It’s also important to remember that when you can’t see what your child is doing on their device, they could literally be doing anything, and explaining to they why you want their phone each evening is a good way to not only build their trust and confidence in you, but a non invasive way of keeping an eye on them and protecting them from themselves, other kids, and people with more sinister intentions.
It is our responsibility as adults, be we carers, parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents or even friends of the family to provide the best possible care we can to vulnerable young minds, and this also means that a firm approach must be taken when it comes to social media taking over people’s lives, which it can and does do.
If you’re not tech savvy, you can always speak to someone at a phone shop to set things up for you or even ask a friend who knows a little more. But social media can be a curse.