Examining the Impact of Tech Use on Children’s Confidence

Examining the Impact of Tech Use on Children's Confidence

Today’s children are using technology more than ever. According to the CDC, kids ages eight to eighteen average 7.5 hours of screen time each day. There are many potential benefits to screen time, but too much time can affect your child’s emotional state. Moderating and monitoring your child’s tech usage can ensure that they develop healthy self-esteem while online.

Let’s examine the impact of tech use on children’s confidence and explore strategies for parents to find a healthy balance.

The Pros and Cons of Tech Use Among Children

Technology is a double-edged sword for children. Children can gain valuable educational opportunities through online learning resources, educational video games, and interactive educational websites. Online math games or language learning apps can help kids build their skills in a fun, engaging way.

Similarly, multiplayer video games allow kids to socialize with their friends and make new connections. Children can collaborate and work towards a common goal in games, which aids in the development of problem-solving and communication skills. Playing video games has also shown improved decision making skills.

Technology can also offer children opportunities for creative expression. Digital creative tools to help them develop their creativity, self-expression, and technical skills. Furthermore, tech can be used to explore topics that children are passionate about, such as science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) subjects.

However, negative impacts from excessive screen time have affect a child’s physical and mental health. They may begin to choose online time over physical play, leading to obesity, poor posture, and fatigue.

Moreover, social media can be a significant source of stress and anxiety for children. They compare their lives to those they see online, leading to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem.

How Tech Use Affects Children’s Confidence

Excessive screen time can have many negative effects on children’s mental health. When many children’s games and websites are designed to be addictive, reducing screen time may feel like an uphill battle. But here are a few reasons it is vital to do so.

For one, if your kids are spending most of their time in front of a screen, they are not able to practice their social skills like they would during face-to-face interactions. This can lead to increased social anxiety in offline settings and leave your child feeling less confident in themselves.

An over abundance of time spent online has also been linked to feelings of isolation and depression, which aren’t conducive to building healthy self-esteem.

Social Media and its Impact on Children’s Confidence

Social media can be one of the most significant factors impacting your child’s confidence. Children who spend multiple hours per day on social media may develop a distorted sense of reality, expecting their “behind the scenes” to look like a picture-perfect Instagram page.

Your children may also come across content they are not ready to handle while on social media. Many social media sites have inadequate content filters, and your young child could be exposed to adult content, cyberbullying, foul language, or other inappropriate sites. While there are ways to protect your child on social media, the chances of them stumbling upon unsafe content are high.

Children on social media also compare themselves to both their peers and online “influencers.” There is a significant link between juvenile social media use and body dysmorphia, as young girls feel the pressure to look like the edited photos they see online.

All these factors can inhibit a child’s ability to develop healthy self-esteem.

Balancing Tech Use and Building Confidence in Children

It’s essential that parents find a balance between tech use and empowering your child to develop authentic confidence. Here are some strategies to help:

Encourage Physical Activity

Physical activity can improve mood, reduce stress, and increase confidence. Encourage your child to participate in physical activities such as sports, dancing, or simply going for a walk. Even a ten-minute walk around the neighborhood after dinner can make a dramatic difference.

Monitor Screen Time

Set limits on your child’s screen time and stick to them. Install an app that stringently enforces screen time limits – and make sure the app cannot be uninstalled without it notifying you. Engage your child in other fun activities to keep them away from their device.

Foster Socialization

Encourage face-to-face communication with peers, family, and friends. This can help build social skills and increase confidence levels. Set up weekend play dates at the park or organize a backyard barbecue with neighborhood kids.

Introduce Technology Gradually

If you’re hesitant about giving your child unlimited access to social media, consider giving them a phone without social media access. This can help ease them into the world of technology without overwhelming them. Or you may consider restricting them to only using one social media app of their choice. This will help cut down on the hours it takes to interact on multiple social media avenues.

Practice Positive Reinforcement

Encourage your child’s interests and celebrate their successes – even if they use their devices to achieve them. If your child is proud of a piece of art they created on their tablet, share their enthusiasm! By being their biggest cheerleader, you help to build confidence and self-esteem.

The Recap

In a nutshell, monitoring your child’s tech use is job one. Secondly, work to find a balance between productive screen time and building their confidence levels IRL. Although technology can be a valuable tool, it should never replace face-to-face communication, physical activity, or other confidence-building activities. With these strategies, you can help your children build confidence while still enjoying the benefits of modern tech.

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