Palestine today – Gaza
17 July 2022
Children who spend too much time in front of screens and use electronic devices during summer vacation have become for many parents a depressed and anxious family life in the digital age in which we live.
There is no doubt that every stage of childhood and adolescence has been accompanied by new challenges for parents, from babies who fall into tantrums when their iPads are taken from them, to children watching YouTube clips all night, or children as young as 11 who insist on playing video games rated for the age of eighteen under the pretext that “all their friends” are playing them, or the fourteen-year-old, who never leaves social networking sites (Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok, Snapchat).
Not only that, mothers and fathers these days complain about their inability to control the times their children spend in front of electronic devices, but they may not know the importance of economy and extravagance in the time that their children can spend on these devices during the day. do not stay. , especially during summer holidays.
In the Gaza Strip, and in the absence of alternatives, the family remains in great challenges with its children, and the ways to deal with them, especially because the children have taken leave from schools and kindergartens after a long year of studying and going to school, and they have time A long gap where they do not get an opportunity to discharge their energy through it, with the absence of clubs or institutions that provide child activities, or they provide time for training and entertainment, and around new skills.
Mrs. Nadia Sharif, a mother of 5 children, three of whom are in schools, said she and her children suffer greatly from the long time they spend in front of cell phone or computer screens.
Sheriff explained to a reporter “Palestine Today News Agency” She could not control the time of her children sitting on the phones, especially in their free time during the holidays, which indicates that they have become accustomed to watching programs through those devices, and it has become an addiction for them .
In turn, Ms Manal Abu Mandeel said that addiction to smart devices has become one of the most challenging challenges parents face in dealing with their children, noting that as a result of these devices, her children have become isolated from their peers, friends and family.
And about her efforts to limit her children’s hours of sitting on smartphones, she confirmed that all her efforts were unsuccessful in leaving those devices, citing the absence of other modes of entertainment, and the difficult economic conditions that prevented her have to look for relaxation or relaxation. training centers that can turn.To her children to spend their free time on vacation.
In turn, social worker Palestine Abed described the excessive use of electronic devices by children as a real danger to their psychological and social health.
And Abed in an interview with “Palestine Today News Agency”Of course, the use of such devices drives children and adolescents to become addicted to what they see on them, not only that, but these devices are currently shaping the minds of our children, and unfortunately some parents have realized this, and some of them did not realize it.
According to the social worker, although these devices are not harmful at all, they are far from also useful in building the personality and mind of children.
And she added: “The increase in the amount of time devoted to these devices, at the expense of the time children devote to physical and recreational activities, could lead to an increase in what is known as the ‘body mass index.’ , and a decrease in the number of meals eaten by family members together, and is also associated with a decrease in sleep time, whether For young or old.
She pointed out that children who sit in front of devices for a long time have a real impact on their behavior, as some children prefer to watch fight videos, which can lead to hostile behavior.
Abed warned that children spend most of their time in their dark closed rooms and play games that in turn destroy their mental and psychological health and kill their ambition and normal life.
And on ways to reduce the impact of smart devices on children, the social researcher Palestine recommended Abed to find free institutions and clubs or at nominal prices, enabling children to access them and spend the holidays in skills refining their personalities and developing their minds, giving them time for fun away from stressful activities.
On the other hand, a recent study by the University of South Australia recommended removing the phone from children’s hands if it lasts for a long time, and letting them play and practice playing music, and sharing engage in sports and social activities.
The study, which was done on more than 61,000 children (between 4 and 9 years old), concluded that the long time children spend in front of smart device screens negatively affects their mental health and mood, and the researchers stressed that it is necessary is to work to ensure that children have access to sports facilities and participate in art activities..
The research found that children who practice sports and other activities – or socialize with their friends after school – are happier and healthier than those who remain stuck in front of screens..
During the study, researchers analyzed data from 61,759 school children to determine the average .The number of days per week that children participated in different activities, measured by well-being factors such as happiness, sadness, anxiety, involvement, optimism, emotional regulation and life satisfaction.
The researchers found that most students spend about 4 days of the school week watching TV and spend about 3 days a week browsing social media..
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 1 in 7 children (approximately 560,000 children) suffer from a mental health disorder.
The study authors explained that these data reveal how some activities can improve the mental health of children. While some other activities – especially screens – can be detrimental to their mental and physical health.