Thursday, February 1, 2018

My 4-Year Old Son is Now Suffering Because of Too Much Screen Time

I'm a work-at-home mom and I was the breadwinner of my family. I work for more than 150 hours a week so iPad became a babysitter for my son since he was 2. Despite my sister's continuous warnings about the bad effects of too much screen time for kids, I didn't listen because I had no choice. Now, my son suffered the consequences.

We're now starting to see the effects my sister, a pediatrician, had been telling us even though we already banned our son from using his iPad before his 4th birthday last December. His addiction to Bendy and the Ink Machine, a demonic character he was watching on Youtube all day, worried us a lot.

We also noticed his eyes had started to blink excessively. I wasn't sure if it's because of dryness or because of staying up late every night. Some people say that he might need to wear eyeglasses soon, while some say it was just a "mannerism". Guess what? After a month of no gadgets, his excessive blinking had already lessened.

The worst effect of too much iPad we're seeing now is my son's speech delay. Yes, he can talk, but 50% of his words are still "baby talk" and he's having a hard time with conversations. We already had him professionally assessed by two Developmental Pediatricians twice - first when he was 1 and second when he was 3. He has no autism nor ADHD. The results turned out that he only had a "speech delay", which was obviously caused by his unlimited use of gadgets. This was also the reason why we failed to enroll him in school last year.

His speech is getting better after the "gadget ban". He now asks questions and he's more responsive to casual talks. He's now spending more time with his dad in our car wash, playing and talking with the customers.

If you're a parent and you're using gadgets to babysit, I'm telling you now... STOP. Parenting can be hard at times, and there are no always short-cuts and there isn't really too much room for mistakes. Buy them books and educational toys instead. Your kids will someday thank you for it.

Photo Courtesy: Flickr

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