Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Are tablet use and TV bad for children?

Our research at Fondapol, the world’s largest children’s ID database based on 19 years of behaviour data, found that the happiest kids are ‘cordial’ kids. That’s what we’ve found from looking at how they interact with each other, how often they smile, how happy they are, their laughter, their energy, their peer pressure and their sense of adventure and opportunities.

Lane Neely ‘cordial’ (Sanskrit for friendly) is the way they talk to each other, the way they extend their arms and point at people. It’s the emotional ease and grace that is missing from childhood and that has pervaded in modern society. Is that really the life we want for our children?

Happiness studies show that when you’re happy you’re more open to advice and receiving advice. Your kids will probably pick up on your level of emotion and that level of empathy and care will influence how they feel. This is why we need to get back to the basics of looking after each other, to make our children happier and to teach them how to love themselves and each other.

Breathing is the thing that they do together.

Neely : “We spend more time in our car and cars talk more than anywhere else and when you drive a lot together, you can start to understand the rhythm of each other’s lives. He’ll be running late and it’s usually because he’s running late to play with his friends. It’s always really funny if he’s just making up an excuse. It’s a huge rule that every day, you should be able to get on a phone and call each other and have a bit of a chat”.

Giving your child their own iPad is not the answer. In fact, it may be the exact opposite.

We are spending more time on our iPads and it’s definitely changed our relationship with our children. Instead of talking and playing together, they are always watching videos, imitating others and swapping games. It’s like they’re making up a story and they’re inventing characters but they’re skipping the part of exploring and playing.”

We need to show our children that if they are going to spend more time looking at screen time, there should be a balance with other opportunities and opportunities to grow up together as a family. I’m going to do that. We are playing in the garden together, we are playing board games, we are taking turns driving to places to see what it’s like driving with the doors down. There’s a great moment on the way to the cinema, we are driving there and I get talking to the passenger, it’s my son and he’s watching Gossip Girl. So now, we’re talking about Gossip Girl but we’re not talking about it in a bad way.”

If you have a question, comment or call us on 0330 333 6846 or you can send us your questions and comments on online at www.theinterviewroom.org.uk. This is your chance to add your voice to the group of experts who together have formed the Interaction Team that looks at best practice to set up an adaptive family life for you and your children. Our active Interaction Team is led by a team of children’s mental health experts within the Department of Health, the NHS and Fondapol – the world’s largest children’s ID database for over 3,000 schools in a variety of countries and the only world database of over one million parents and their children aged 0-19.

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