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13 Reasons Why You Need To Monitor Your Kid’s Online ActivitiesBecause you can't be too sure, mom!CREATED WITH PLDT HOME
Technology has its pros and cons—for one, it has become easier for parents to research about a child's health and well-being. On the other hand, it has also become much easier for children to discover almost everything under the sun when they go online.
According to Clarissa Mariano-Ligon, an expert on Special Education and Family Studies who recently spoke at the Smart Parenting Convention, "We cannot live away from digital life but we can manage it."
Here are 13 reasons why all parents need to make sure they actively participate and monitor their child's online activities. Check out the effects of unsupervised Internet surfing:
1. It may affect your child's priorities
Prolonged used of online apps may affect your child's schedule and ultimately affect how he prioritizes his activities for the day. If you allow him to spend too much time glued on his screens, he may take mealtimes, study period, and even family bonding for granted. This is a great opportunity for you to teach him the importance of balance.
2. It may have an adverse effect to your child's memory
When your child is exposed to so many things all at once, he may not have enough time to process what he sees. This can affect how he understands what they mean. It can also affect how he remembers things so it's best to limit what he sees on a daily basis.
3. It may make your child impatient
The Internet is synonymous to 'instant.' When everything is offered in one go, it conditions your child to think he can get anything he wants when he wants it. Your child may become impatient and if you indulge him, it may lead to uncontrollable tantrums. This is your opportunity to teach your child the value of hard work and patience.
4. Your child may become anti-social
Most of the shows or apps your little one sees online are highly animated, which is why he may feel bored whenever he is not on his gadgets. Your child may forget the simple joys of playing with toys and having fun with his friends. He may miss valuable opportunities to develop his imagination.
5. It may affect your child's attention span
A study conducted by a graduate student at Iowa University, revealed too much TV and computer time can have negative effects on a child's attention span. Children who exceed the American Academy of Pediatrics' screen time recommendation were more likely to have greater than average attention problems.
6. It may cause poor eyesight
Prolonged screen time or digital eyestrain can cause burning, itchy, or tired eyes. It can also cause blurred vision, head and neck pain, and headaches. If your child is already experiencing any of these, he needs to put his gadgets down and you need to encourage him to look away from his gadgets every 20 minutes.
7. It may affect your child's sleeping habits
In a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics, media devices used before bedtime contribute to children's reduced sleep quality. They may also develop problems staying awake or excessive daytime sleepiness.
E-safety recommends that parents help their kids enjoy a mix of entertainment and social activities to lessen the risks of sleep difficulties, obesity, and poor performance at school.
8. It may cause speech delays
In a recent research presented at the 2017 Pediatrics Academic Societies Meeting, experts found that children who spend a lot of their time on their handheld devices have a higher likelihood of speech delay.
9. It may cause behavioral problems
Some children become bored, apathetic, and uninterested whenever they are not plugged in on their devices. One of the things you can do is to let your kids get bored when they are bored instead of finding them something to do—boredom can help your child's innate ability to be creative.
10. Your child may accidentally view inappropriate content
Just because the shows your child watches has cute characters, funny sound effects and colorful backgrounds doesn't mean the content is appropriate for him. Some cartoons talk about sensitive topics like sex, suicide, and violence, which you need to explain to your child so he can understand what it's truly about.
11. It may open your child to dangerous information
Just like the inappropriate shows your child may see, he can also come across information online that he's not ready for. All your child needs to know is just one click away. Although this is great for when he's doing his homework, your little one may also see more than he needs to. Searching for information online, especially when the browser on the family computer or your child's gadget doesn't have a filter can show broad results that can take your child from a good educational topic to something dangerous.
12. Your child is vulnerable to online predators
You never know who you're talking to online nowadays. People can easily create fake identities to help them get whatever they want. If you let your child meet friends on the Internet without your supervision, he may fall victim to online predators that can trick him into giving confidential information or worse, encourage him to meet up.
13. It may cause video game addiction
Games are a great way to help your kids develop their cognitive abilities. But too much of a good thing can also be bad. Game addiction causes social isolation, violent behaviors and even aggression.
Most games can be addictive and once your child gets hooked, it can be hard to regulate how much time they spend playing.
Be clear about how much time your child is allowed to spend playing every day before you even let him start. Encourage him to spend his time on a few other things like outdoor play, simple household chores and hobbies like painting or playing musical instruments.
"We should act as our child's digital media manager," reminded Ligon. Make sure to teach your child how to self-regulate. Your child should learn how to know if what he sees online is good or bad, beneficial or just a waste of his time. But for younger ones who just take in all the information, they still need to co-view with parents.
At the end of the day, Internet and online screening is not all bad—it has countless benefits too! Parents just need to be more involved when it comes to which content children are allowed to see. Regulation and monitoring is key!
Try to build rules with them too and agree on a gadget schedule. Explain why some shows and apps are not suitable for them and why you need to limit the time they spend online.
You can also get the PLDT FAM ZONE to help you manage your child's online activities. You can modify the time of online gadget use, filter inappropriate websites and apps, restrict social media usage and can report your child's activity directly to you through the app.
For more information, visit http://pldthome.com/famzone.
Clarissa Carmelita Mariano-Ligon, is a full-time faculty member of the College of Education at Miriam College. She is also a content editor for FNB Publishing Incorporated, a professor at Colegio De San Lorenzo, and a consultant of a Montessori School. At present, she is writing her dissertation on children in conflict with the law as she pursues her Doctorate Degree in Family Studies in Miriam College.