Don’t Let Your Kids Stare at The Screen!

As excessive screen time has become the most likely option for children to release stress and pass the time amid the COVID-19 pandemic, an expert has warned against the consequences of such behaviour.

The risks include delayed speech, deterioration of communication skills, unrealistic demands, extreme boredom among children, screen addiction and adopting behaviours, said Zaina Tahboub, a parenting coach and a personal development trainer.

“Children below the age of 3, who are regularly exposed to screens, might be at a higher risk of developing a speech delay. Interaction with adults and peers is usually how children in this age group learn to communicate. As a result, we are seeing an increase in the number of kindergarten children who have a speech delay or whose speech is difficult to comprehend,” said Zaina Tahboub, a parenting coach and a personal development trainer.

Tahboub also stated that children of this age group are losing their ability to communicate with peers from their age.

“I have noticed that my children’s ability to play and interact with their peers is deteriorating. When I take them out to play with their friends, their communication skills are extremely low,” said Tamara Khalily, a mother of four children aged two, six, eight, and nine.

Children of this age group are developing a materialistic life perspective due to the constant exposure to unrealistic shows on the Internet, according to Tahboub.

“Those children are constantly exposed to a lifestyle that their parents cannot accommodate. Normal life is portrayed as constantly receiving gifts and other materialistic items. In the long run, children are being programmed to carry on a materialistic lifestyle,” Tahboub elaborated.

Mothers reported that spending “too much” screen time has resulted in excessive boredom and addiction to screens.

“My children have become extremely sensitive, and they cry at almost everything. I believe this is due to their boredom and lack of ideas for how to spend their free time at home,” Khalily added.

Tahboub has several recommendations regarding the issue including: Agreeing on a limit of daily screen time with children, eliminating screen time for children below the age of two, and finding alternatives off the screen.

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