Let’s Talk About Screen Time…
Are you ready to have your mind blown? Here are some statistics according to the CDC:
Children of the ages 8-10 spend about 6 hours per day looking at screens. Four of those hours are spent watching TV.
Tweens ages 11-14 spend about 9 hours per day looking at screens. Five of those hours are spent watching TV.
Teenagers between the ages of 15 and 18 spend about 8 hours of their days looking at screens. Five of these hours are spent watching TV.
These numbers are incredibly high. Aside from the physical ramifications that come from screen time like vision problems, poor posture, and headaches, children being exposed to this amount of screen leads to other issues…
According to aacp.org, during these excessive amounts of screen time, children and teens can be exposed to violence, risk taking or dangerous behavior, inappropriate and sexual content, negative and harmful stereotypes, substance use, cyber bullies and/or predators, and misleading information. More screen time also can lead to sleep issues, lower grades, reading less, spending less time with family and friends, not enough physical activity, weight and mood issues, poor self image/low self esteem, fear of missing out, and not learning other healthy ways to relax or have fun.
Sound good? Of course not!
Technology has been great in some regard, but detrimental in others. The ruin it is causing among today’s youth is terrifying. Not all hope is lost though…
The solution is to find something that is both fun and beneficial for kids to not just force them off screens, but to make them want to give up that screen time. Let me give you some reasons martial arts is the ideal activity for that:
1) Martial arts is like a safe, real-life video game. Why would you want to spend time making a character kick and punch when you could learn how to do it yourself?
2) Martial arts is both a group and individual sport. You are moving at your own pace and aren’t compared to anyone else. You also get to challenge yourself, but you are in there with a group of people that become life-long friends.
3) Martial arts isn’t your typical exercise: you are having so much fun taking the class and learning all your cool new skills, that you forget that you are even doing a sport.
4) Does your child like any of these: Spider Man, Marvel/DC heroes, Power Rangers, Ninja Turtles, Cobra Kai, Karate Kid, Kim Possible, etc? How cool would it be to learn some of their on-screen heroes moves? Martial arts teaches them!
Now let me explain how martial arts is the perfect solution to all of the issues that screen time tends to lead to:
- Sleep problems: Trust me. After a good Taekwondo class and being away from a screen, bed time will come a lot easier.
- Lower grades: Martial arts teaches focus and self discipline. These are two very important characteristics needed to get higher grades in school. Plus, at Seo’s Martial Arts, we won’t let you test for higher belt ranks if you aren’t getting good reports from school both in grades and behavior.
- Reading less: Martial Arts instructors encourage kids to go above and beyond in their academics, and that includes all of their subjects in school (including reading). We don‘t want them to just have a go-getter black belt attitude on our mats.
-Less time with friends/family: Martial arts classes are going to be filled with their friends! Also, we have plenty of parents that take class alongside their kids for bonding purposes. And if that isn’t your style, I know fewer things mean more to a child than having their parent cheering them on during class, tournaments, or belt promotions.
-Not enough physical activity: I think this one speaks for itself
-Weight/mood issues: Exercise is proven to improve moods and help with weight issues. Martial arts is a great source of exercise. Also, our students are required to not only show respect to everyone (adults and kids), but they are expected to have a good attitude. We check up on this daily with the parents to hold kids accountable.
-Poor self image/low self esteem: Martial arts is all about having an “I can do it” attitude and encouraging students to believe in themselves. It is also extremely important to us as instructors that they know they always have someone in their corner that believes in them too. One of our top priorities is instilling a sense of self confidence in all of the kids that cross our paths.
-Not learning other ways to have fun or relax: Martial arts will give them another outlet for having fun and relaxing. In addition to classes being captivating and entertaining, martial arts is an excellent outlet to relive stress or even help with anger issues, ADD, ADHD, etc.
Too much of anything can be dangerous, and with the rise of social media and videogames, screen time is definitely making the top of that list. A little change, like signing up for a martial arts class, can go a long way.
Interested in trying it out? Get a free class and learn more about our programs here: www.seosmartialarts.com