Helping Children Neutralize Technology Overload
Technology has become a part of our daily lives in many positive ways. And while we have quicker and easier access to things and people, it has also caused many to live in a continual state of hyperstimulation.
Addiction to Screens is a Brain Thing
For children, this constant dopamine fix is the reason so many become “addicted” to devices. This can lead to negative behaviors and bad habits that will be more difficult to break. After hours of digital time, children become tired and irritable and often have meltdowns when told their time is up. And while the toxicity from technology overuse can be harmful, it’s not going anywhere.
Especially now that many children are attending school or completing their homework online, it’s essential that parents alter their viewpoint and set clear boundaries for tech time that correlate with our current situation.
There Has to be a Break
It is equally important for children to have scheduled breaks though. Research has shown that we blink less when we are on devices, which leads to eye pain and headaches, so breaks are essential.
In addition, encouraging good learning habits during school hours will help children get work done more efficiently so they have time for other activities. These non-tech activities can then counteract the overstimulation and anxiety that devices can cause.
Habit 7, “Sharpen the Saw – Balance Feels Best” in the book, “The 7 Habits of Happy Kids” by Sean Covey, is a great way to find balance. Even though we can now learn, connect with family, and exercise online, too much of anything can still be bad.
How SKILLZ Programs Play a Role
The SKILLZ program, utilized by Southwest Arkansas Taekwondo, was developed after years of research in science and psychology. The progressive child development technique that SKILLZ implements encourages development and balance. While essential skills in physical, intellectual, emotional, and social development are nurtured in each class, methods used by instructors also foster the production of positive brain chemicals that help to counteract stress and anxiety. The stability that comes from a creative balance helps benefit children’s development.
Finding the Balance
As screen time has increased because school is online for many children now, parents must adjust their stance on screen time limits while also continuing to promote device- free time and activities. Creating opportunities and encouraging activities for children to develop physically, intellectually, emotionally, and socially without using technology is essential, especially now. And while it will take more creativity and patience on the part of the parents to instill the importance of balance, the result will be better feeling children with more positive habits.
Written by Jennifer Salama of Skillz Worldwide. Jennifer is a 4th-degree black belt and has been training in martial arts since 2001. She has a Masters Degree in Child Psychology and has embraced the SKILLZ curriculum because of its focus on child development and using martial arts as a vehicle to develop the child as a whole.