Published on Nov 18, 2021
Why Parents Should Limit Internet Time after School
Do you agree that the Internet has become one of the mediums that build and ruin children’s future?
The next-gen is always way more intelligent than us; they learn and adapt faster as you can see children of 3 years and above use the Internet like us. Little kids use the Internet to watch cartoons, rhymes, and playing games, while tweens and teens use the Internet to play online games and surf social media.
Parents must always be careful with what they teach their children. As the saying goes, “a child is like a young plant; they will grow in whatever way you train them.” So, in this advanced era, the parents must make screen time rules and monitor the Internet usage activities of their kids.
"Concurring to information from the Centers for Illness Control and Anticipation (CDC) appears that children of age group 8-10 spend 6 hours per day in front of the screen. The children of the age group 11-14 spend 9 hours per day."
Children engage in unproductive activities more than productive ones on the Internet, so limiting internet time for children has been essential.
Ways To Limit Internet Time after School
Aside from studies, children spend most of their time on the Internet for entertainment purposes. As most of the schools have shifted online, this has increased the need for managing children’s screen time. At first, children use their devices for their online class purpose; then they use for homework and entertainment purpose.
In our generation, we played outdoor games, which helped keep us physically healthy and well-balanced. But now, as everything has been shifted online, which has brought lots of adverse effects in children and our lives. Here I have mentioned some of the ways to limit internet time for your children after school:
- Try to give enough time for your kids so that they should not take the help of the Internet to get distracted or keep themselves busy.
- You can make a schedule for internet usage time for your kids. For instance, apart from online classes, limit internet usage time by 1 hour.
- Try to engage the children in outdoor games as much as possible. If it is impossible to go out, try to engage them in indoor games like Chess, Ludo, and other board games (not on mobile and computer).
- Encourage your children to participate in different exciting programs to play and learn like dancing, singing, football, karate, etc.
- Try to take them outside the home frequently and engage them in outdoor activities frequently. Staying indoors makes your child introvert and dull.
- Since your child copies whatever you do, your child will do the same if you reduce your screen time.
- Educate your teen about web security and social media and its threats. Make sure they don’t give their personal information to anyone.
The academy suggests that children from the age group of two and under are not suggested to use the screen at all. The children from the age group of 3-5 years must not spend more than 1 hour a day in front of a screen, and those children who are six years and older must keep a steady limit over screen time.
Problems Created From More Time on the Internet
By saying the Internet and digital media have been a blessing to us, you can not forget their adverse effect. When children spend too much time on the Internet, they face the consequences like:
- Psychological problems: Your child’s mind starts to get dull and passive when they spend too much time on the Internet. They prefer to google their homework instead of using their knowledge and creativity. Also, children are reluctant to go out and socialize; they prefer socializing virtually.
- Internet addiction: These next-gen kids consider the Internet as their primary need and cannot function without the Internet. They get online as soon as they wake up and turn off their wifi only when they are about to sleep, by which you can assume their internet addiction level.
- Eating and Sleeping Disorder: This is a common problem that you can find among tweens and teens. You may have noticed your teens snacking in the middle of the night while using the Internet. If you do not stop your kids, they can use the Internet all night, changing their timing or schedule for sleeping and eating.
- Troubles in school: Not wanting to go to school is one of the problems in children. Instead of going to school, they try to avoid and prefer using the Internet at home and watching television. This causes problems, i.e., ditching schools/colleges. Also, they prefer to use the Internet in the classroom more than giving attention to what the teacher is teaching.
- Chances of facing Cyberbullying: The more time your child is on the Internet, the more chances they face cyberbullying problems. Children are not aware of scammers and bullies on the Internet; they may find it fun to make friends on the Internet and might end up making scammers their friends. Consequently, they can be the next target of bullies and scammers. You should teach your kids about online predator and bullies and how to deal with them.
Long Term Health Problems That Can Cause by Spending Too Much Time on the Internet and the Screen
Eye problem among children is common these days due to excessive use of digital media. Many children are using glasses at a very young age due to excessive use of screens. According to eye doctors and specialists, electronic devices throw a wavelength of 380 nm to 500 nm. These waves can cause eye inconvenience to retinal damage. This leads to side effects like dry eye, nearsightedness, headache, blurred vision, and eye fatigue.
Many new diseases are evolving due to the excessive use of screens. In Singapore, eye diseases like Myopia have been found among many people, and with the increase in the use of digital media, the condition has got worst even more.
When your child is surfing the Internet or using their digital devices, they view their screens without blinking their eyes. Children can extend their sleep hours to be online. Your children start to have a lack of sleep resulting in headaches during the daytime.
Digital screens can cause eye strains which will eventually result in headaches. In the worst case, children can even face migraines at a very young age.
Neck and Back problem
While using digital devices, children need to bend their necks which will eventually result in neck pain. While it is for playing games or surfing the Internet, children will stay in the same position for hours which will cause an effect on their posture.
You can hear many cases of children facing back pain due to excessive use of digital devices. Also, the back posture of children is degrading due to constantly staying in the same position.
The Internet contains much informative and educational information. But, there is an equal amount of unwanted and harmful content. Contents should be protected from children. The negative influence may harm them, affect them psychologically and mentally. The ways to protect them from such content are:
Use Parental Control Apps to Limit Internet Time
The parental control apps are critical for families as they can help to monitor your child’s online activities. You can track your children’s PCs and mobile activities using parental control apps. The parental software allows you to restrict the access of inappropriate content to your children. This has become one of the most beneficial mediums to track your children’s device activities and remove harmful and unwanted activities.
Some of my favorite parental control apps are fenced.ai, bark, Net Nanny, Kaspersky Safe Kids, etc. These are easy-to-use parental control on the browser by simply going into the browser’s settings.
However, you must be careful, children these days are brilliant and can learn about technology faster than adults. Many children know to clear browsing history and remove parental controls by searching through the web, video tutorials from YouTube, which you need to be careful about.
The Internet has been a basic need in this tech world, and it’s pretty impossible to avoid the Internet. However, too much involvement in the Internet causes mental, health hazards, and psychological disorders. Children don’t know the negative impact of the Internet, due to which parents must act as a barrier.
So, as parents, at first, you should limit your internet usage time so that you can impact your children to limit their internet usage time. Other than that, many parental control apps are easier ways of controlling and monitoring children’s activities.
Try to make your children less dependent on electronic devices and motivate them to do better in school. Let’s try to make children more active by exploring the outside world rather than the digital and electronic world.
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