It’s no news that the Generation Z children have and never will know life without the internet. Unfortunately, repeated exposure to television and tablet screens can have a significantly negative impact on children’s social development, not to mention on their overall health. The number of children who need prescription glasses from early on has skyrocketed due to their repeated screen time exposure. Thankfully there are eyewear brands such as Payne Glasses that exist to provide the thinnest and lightest lenses—something that kids can greatly benefit from. With Payne Glasses’ 1.74 high index lenses, parents can have the peace of mind that their kids will have full UVA and UVB protection from the sun. The lenses are also automatically anti-reflective and fit better in small kid’s eyeglass frames due to their thin nature.
Parenting has a role in creating destructive impediments to children’s social development. Not only do they allow their kids to have over five hours a day of screen time, but most are screen obsessed themselves. While the parents are on their computers and phones all day, their kids are craving for the attention that they need at such a young age. Back-and-forth conversation between parent and child is essential to their social development as they begin to understand language tones, vocal inflection and new vocabulary. Kids who learn their alphabet from an app digest it in a way that is compartmentalized as opposed to organic.
As the kids of Generation Z grow up, their social development triggers are made even more apparent. Many teenagers nowadays would rather communicate with their friends online –even if they are present in the same room—than face-to-face. While their social skills are heightened online, behind the mask that is their screen, their in-person communication becomes awkward.
Parents need to take the reigns and realize that their first role is to educate their children—which cannot be adequately substituted by a mobile device. It’s pertinent that they work to develop emotional and social connections with their kids from early on, but also during the sensitive adolescent years. Having regular family dinners—television and phone free—where interesting conversation can be propelled is a great starting point in mediating this sad reality of the pervasive screens that have taken over our children and our world.