How Media & Technology Affects Children | Child Development
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Well, everybody knows that right now this is the age of technology and of media. Everyone has an Ipad; you know, gone are the days of the Gameboy. Now it’s the Ipad, now it’s the Iphone… now it’s, you know, there’s Youtube on there and everything else. Now it’s just the days of going into a restaurant and you have to whip out the Ipad for the child. What kind of impact does that have on the child’s development? Well, it has a lot of impact on them and not for the good! Sometimes it can help them with learning numbers and letters and there are some great games and that in about ten to twenty minutes a day max.
When you’re starting to use these things in place of other ways of learning, then it poses a problem. We’re all in an age where communicating and engaging with people face to face is limited because everyone’s already texting and emailing. So, we have to be very cognizant and very mindful that, you know, when we grew up as parents we were talking to each other and playing with each other. You want to be able to provide those opportunities for your children. So, if they’re playing a game and watching TV, chances are they’re not playing with a child and they’re not learning common social skills. Everything that your child learns is through experience, through doing things with their peers. And also, they learn through observations. So, if they’re watching you on your phone all day they may think ‘well, that’s the way to do it these days’.
So, you also want to remember that what you do impacts your child’s development as well. There are two things to know here; one is if your child is playing on the video games, watching TV, and are not outside on the playgrounds and are not engaging with their friends, then they are not playing and they should be. Two is that the impact that these toys have on your child can be significant because it’s a lot of input. It’s a lot of visual stimulation and you might find that they are not able to actually attend to people then because they are so used to looking at a screen rather than a person.
Providing opportunities for your child to use an Ipad may not be detrimental; you can have them play a game for ten to twenty minutes a day, whatever time a day that is, and that’s fine. But, once you begin to introduce that at meal time when out at restaurants consider this: your child will then always associate the Ipad with the restaurant. They’ll never be able to have a meal and talk to you about their day because they’ll just automatically assume that they’re sitting at a restaurant having that Ipad. So, remember to keep the Ipad for times of learning and to encourage your child to connect with you, engage with you, and the same with their peers at meal time and at play time.
Remember that these opportunities are so vital for your child to learn and grow because they learn through experience. Also through playing with their peers, and not exclusively through media and technology.