There is a stage in human development when mobility is very high, maturation is not a problem yet, and activity gives him the most joy – this is the so-called golden age of sports. The effects of its neglect may affect a person’s entire later life, including health. The golden age of sports and healthy activities.
Don’t miss the moment
The golden age of sports, called by doctors and specialists the golden period of motor skills, is between the ages of 9 and 12. The child has mastered all the movements of an adult and the period of optimal motor formation begins. In these years, children are very agile, quick and usually, they enjoy training. Contrary to younger children, who still have problems with some abilities, and adolescents, who often suffer from reduced mobility or interest in sports due to adolescence.
That’s why children’s and sports psychologists say it’s extremely important not to miss out on this golden age of sports. If at this time we instill in the child a passion for physical activity and faith in their own abilities. The sports spirit will stay with them forever, even in periods when there are natural difficulties with physical activity. However, if we neglect this important time, the child will be discouraged by the lack of support, too difficult, or improperly conducted training. It will probably be for many years that sport is not his forte and will avoid physical activity. This can result in complexes that will hinder social contacts (stress before sports classes at school and university, low self-esteem), and even health consequences related to lack of exercise.
The example comes from above
As all research on children’s development shows, they learn by observation. This also applies to sport and passion – anyway, the time for the formation and development of the latter coincides with the golden age of sports. Therefore, let’s be prepared for the fact that a child can take over from us our attitude to sports. Seeing active parents, it will be natural for him to find sport an integral part of his life. In turn, the “couch potato” parent can only hope that school will instill a passion for sports in their child.
Let’s do it together
Compulsory PE lessons do not meet the mobility needs of a younger child. Therefore, they look for movement outside of school when they return home. Therefore, the child’s movement should not be restricted, for example, playing football, running, or cycling, provided that safety is ensured during these activities.
How to know that our child is starting to abuse digital media
In order to answer the above question, one should refer to the concept of behavioral addiction (addiction to activities). Which presents the most important symptoms of losing control over digital media.
These symptoms are:
- the occurrence of tolerance, i.e. a situation in which our child needs more and more time to use, for example, a mobile phone, the Internet, or a game, with a significant decrease in satisfaction at a specific time;
- Withdrawal symptoms are common in all situations in which our child cannot use digital media. These behaviors include, for example, psychomotor agitation, anxiety, anxiety, depressed mood, obsessive thinking about what is happening in the Internet space. Fantasies and dreams about e.g. smartphones, intentionally or involuntarily moving fingers in a manner characteristic of typing on the Internet. keyboard, using the device to avoid unpleasant withdrawal symptoms after withdrawal from the Internet, sometimes verbal aggression, initiating quarrels due to inability to use the Internet, and sometimes even physical aggression;
- Loss of control over the time of using a mobile phone, thus disturbing the previously established priorities of everyday life;
- Unsuccessful attempts to restrict or stop using a smartphone, the Internet, or a game;
- Our child spends a lot of time on activities related to the use of digital media;
- Reducing or resigning from the activities undertaken so far in favor of using information and communication technologies, abandoning the passions and hobbies in which our child has been involved so far;
- problematic use of various types of digital media despite.The awareness of experiencing permanent or increasing somatic, psychological, or social problems.
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Factors increasing the chance of misuse of digital media
Despite the undoubted benefits that we experience in connection with the daily use of smartphones connected to the Internet. It turns out that we can very simply lose control over it. In an experiment consisting in disconnecting 103 young people for 72 hours from all digital devices. During the week, the volunteers were to find three consecutive days when they could not use the Internet, tablets, smartphones, game consoles, radio, and television. During the day they gained, on average, about 4 hours of free time. Unfortunately, some of the youth and their parents were not able to manage that time in a creative way. Experimental research was conducted among youth, as well as qualitative interviews with the participants of the experiment and their parents. Shed light on the factors that had a decisive influence on the success of the scientific undertaking.
What are the factors that make children and young people misuse digital media? This is a story for the next episode, but several important determinants can already be identified:
- Uncontrolled “digital initiation”,
- Unlimited access to the Internet, in particular on a mobile device,
- No rules for using digital media,
- Hyperactivity on social networks,
- Boredom, lack of passion for interests,
- Lack of digital education on the part of parents,
- Bad relationship with parents.
What can be done to prevent our children from abusing digital media?
First, it is worth referring directly to the above points.
- Enter the world of digital media together with your child, talk to him about the use of digital media, about the skillful and proper use of, for example, a smartphone, tablet, or games.
- Control what your child is doing online. It turns out that 20% -30% of parents, in the opinion of students, are not at all involved in what children and adolescents do online. Control the time of using digital media, use parental controls, do not give your child. Especially when he starts using information and communication technologies, unlimited access to the Internet.
- Introduce home rules for using digital media. For this purpose, you can use the “Domestic Code of Responsible Use of Digital Media” available for download here.
- Do not allow your child to use any social networking sites before the age of thirteen. These applications have very high addiction potential.
- Try to be a person who is looking for interests together with your child.
- Try to teach your child to use digital media, but also be a person who is open to learning from your own child how to creatively use various types of applications and technical solutions,
- Always have a good relationship with your own child, leading to a situation where your child, no matter what he/she does, can always count on your support.
In order to read the selected symptoms of abuse of digital media by a child at the appropriate stage, it is necessary first of all to pay a lot of attention to what the child is doing online. If your child likes to play online games, try to get to know the main characters of the game. But most of all, take care of the high quality of your relationship at home.