While it is true that mobile phones are some of the most important gadgets in today’s climate, that doesn’t change the fact that they’re not all that healthy – especially for children.
Parents are in a tough spot today. If their kid hangs out with other kids that have phones and social media profiles and they don’t – they’re going to feel left out. Or even worse – they’re going to get bullied.
So, what do you do as a parent? Do you cave in and give your child a mobile phone when they can barely talk properly, or do you refuse to let them have it? Well, that is a tough decision and a decision we don’t want to infringe upon. However, what we will do is outline some of the risks and consequences of a child using a mobile phone, so you can delve into your decision and possibly explain to your child why you think they shouldn’t have a phone or spend too much time with it.
Sleep Deprivation and Disruption
Sleep is paramount in the early years. Most kids should sleep anywhere between 10 and 12 hours until they’re 12. However, most of them don’t get that amount of sleep, especially if they spend a lot of time on their phones.
Staring into a screen all day will not only affect the child’s ability to create melatonin and fall asleep, but it’ll also pressure them to stay awake longer, so they can talk to their friends, play games, or browse YouTube, IG, or TikTok.
Needless to say, lack of sleep in the formative years will most definitely leave a negative impact on various aspects of their life.
Some studies have shown that allowing your child to spend time on a phone while they’re young (6 months to 4 years) has a very negative effect on the child’s spine and neck development.
A condition dubbed “text neck syndrome” is a condition that can affect anyone, but with young kids, this condition can lead to long-lasting neck deformities. Namely, due to the irregular position of the head, while using a phone, the spine’s natural curvature in the neck (outwards) is completely reversed, resulting in permanent deformities and high-intensity chronic pain.
Mental Health Consequences
With everything that’s going on online, it’s remarkable how some people manage to stay sane. But, adults have their ways of coping with things. Kids, on the other hand – don’t.
There have been numerous studies linking mental illnesses in children and young adolescents to mobile phones, social media, etc. In recent years, there has been a disturbingly significant increase in mental illnesses among children and young adolescents.
The number of individuals, particularly young individuals and children suffering from mental health issues like depression, anxiety and body dysmorphia, is at an all-time high, and that’s not by accident.
Inactivity and Physical Issues
Another problem that stems from being on your phone all day is a lack of physical activity. Problems that could arise from a sedentary lifestyle are virtually endless, but the biggest problem of all is – children end up experiencing those issues later on in life.
Children are generally very durable, and they rarely end up experiencing problems from the lack of physical activity at the time. However, habits created that early on in life are hard to break and could lead to potentially life-threatening issues.
Inappropriate Content Consumption
Mobile phones have internet these days, which basically means that your child can access any kind of content they want. To be fair, that is not necessarily a bad thing, but you know kids (and everyone else) – they will much rather watch something stupid than use the internet to learn something useful.
Now, when you’re older, that doesn’t matter as much. However, if you’re a kid – every bit stays with you. So, if you can’t put a lock on your kid’s phone, at least you can do is limit their access to inappropriate content using services provided by www.chamspy.com.
Underdeveloped Social Skills
Despite being online and “talking” to friends at all times, children that spend too much time on their phones inevitably end up with severely underdeveloped social skills. At a point where they have to begin expressing themselves in the “real world”, they’re so used to feeling safe and being behind a screen that they don’t know how to communicate with other people or express their feelings, intentions, desires, or anything else for that matter.
Academic Performance Issues
YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, mobile games, and all that other fun stuff you find on your phone is extremely fun. School, on the other hand, is beyond boring.
While we can’t lie and say that we loved every second of going to school, we didn’t have mobile phones to distract us from it even more. Nowadays, some kids don’t even care about school, which causes them to fail academically at a really early age.
It used to be, up until a few years ago, you had to be a delinquent teenager to start failing at school. Now, you just have to be a 7-year old kid who’d much rather spend their time on YouTube than learn how to write.
Emotional Development Obstacles
One of the consequences of using a phone and communicating through a mobile phone is emotional underdevelopment. What we mean by this, kids no longer form meaningful relationships with their friends. Sometimes, children won’t even acknowledge their classmates if they don’t have an online presence. It’s not their fault, but they just end up not caring about genuine relationships because they’re bombarded with false values through their phones from the earliest ages. What matters is how many followers and likes you have – not what kind of friend you are.
Another thing that happens is antisocial children find their peace behind a screen. And while it is true that they find their inner peace (which is good) while playing games or watching TV shows on their phone, they’re simultaneously becoming alienated from emotions and other people. The lack of social and emotional interaction makes their state even worse, and that’s not a good thing – neither short nor long-term.
We know that most of this sounds terrible and horrifyingly scary, but you shouldn’t let it scare you too much. Some of these are extremes, and some of these happen very rarely. As we said, kids are tough and durable, and no matter what we think, they do learn how to handle these things. Some do it better, some worse – but most of them manage.
However, it is important that you stay aware of these potential problems, consequences and risks so that if you notice that any of them might be affecting your child – you can act on it.