Responsible Parenting: Negative Effects Of Too Much Screen Time In Kids

How much time do your children spend in front of the screen?

Due to the everyday use of electronics for a long period of time, a lot of kids nowadays are “wired and tired”, moody, depressed, and have sleep problems. Screen time can negatively affect your child’s brain. As a parent, you need to be in control of the time he or she is spending at staring a glowing screen.

Here’s what will happen if you will not limit your child’s screen time:

Screen Time Affects Focus, Behavior Or Social Skills

Lots of mood swings can affect a child’s focus, organization, and deep thinking. Screen time negatively affects your child’s ability to handle conflicts, read social cues, make eye contact. These all have a huge impact on everything – from the child’s friendship to romantic relationships.

Light-During-Night Can Cause Serious Depression

At night, electronics that produce light could cause depression and even increase the risk of suicide in some cases.

In a study conducted by researchers at San Diego State University, results showed that looking at screens for more than one hour can increase rates of depression and anxiety of younger kids. This is mainly due to the reason that the bright light coming from the electronics activate special cells in the eyes thereby affecting the brain’s center for learning, mood, and memory.

Screen Time Also Triggers Stress In Kids

All screen-based activities are interpreted by the brain as a form of stress since they provide unnaturally high levels of stimulation. Yes, our bodies and brain are meant to handle some stress. However, too much stress too often overwhelms our ability to adapt. It modifies the hormones in the body and the chemistry in the brain thus increasing the child’s level of irritability or moodiness.

Screen Time Disrupts Sleep, The Body Clock, And The Reward System Of The Brain

Screen time can significantly affect your child’s brain and overall health. Playing electronic games leads to an overproduction of dopamine, a type of brain chemical called a neurotransmitter and has an important role in many bodily system and functions including learning, movement, sleep, mood attention, and memory. Release of too much dopamine overuses the reward pathways that decreases sensitivity to the neurotransmitter thereby affecting the level of concentration, motivation, behavior, and feeling of a child.

Moreover, the release of melatonin, which is a hormone produced in the brain and play a huge role in maintaining circadian rhythms, is delayed with only a few minutes of screen time. This leads to the disruption of the body clock, hormonal imbalance, brain inflammation, and prevents your child to achieve deep sleep in order to heal the body.

Screen Time Makes Kids Lazier, Keeps Them Away From Nature, And Overloads The Brain

In addition to reducing the number of physical activities of your child, screen time also decreases the time wherein the kids can expose themselves to nature. Results of a study conducted by Stephen Kaplan from the University of Michigan revealed that one can decrease stress, reduce aggressiveness, and restore attention by simply spending time interacting with nature. Moreover, it also improves the mood of people, enabling them to combat the harmful effects of screen time.

Due to the numerous visual and cognitive input during screen time, your child’s mental energy depletes. This leads to the reduction of the child’s ability to focus and consider the internal and external environment. In order to raise the energy levels for a short period of time, a lot of children who are mentally tired end up getting angry.