Is Technology Really Hurting Our Toddlers?

 

        There was an article from KidsSafetlyNetwork that talked about toddlers using technology and whether this has had any negative impact on them. Some parents are so concerned about the “possibility” of technology having a bad effect on their toddlers, that they are considering eliminating their kids from using it all together.

I know as parents we are always concerned that our kids (of any age) spend way too much time looking at the screen, from watching tv, to playing video games, to social media, to cell phones, etc. Concerns regarding toddlers in particular range from: developmental problems, both physically and sociologically.

But as caregivers to toddlers, do you really need to be concerned about technology having a negative impact on your toddlers? According to BBC News Health reporter, Philippa Rox, based upon research, toddlers interacting with computers may be very beneficial to their education. For example, touch screens have proven to benefit toddlers developmental learning. And according to the research from the University of Wisconsin, they found that children between the ages of 2 and 3 were more responsive to interactive technology. In addition, Heather Kirkorian, assistant professor in human development and family studies, concluded from this research that touch screens could hold educational potential for toddlers. And after doing both test on word learning, she further concluded that “Kids who are interacting with the screen get better much faster, make fewer mistakes and learn faster.” 

My boys have been using technology like the computer, etc…since they were  toddlers. Really, they’ve been born into this age of technology.  With that said, I agree with the article that toddlers using technology regularly is not a bad thing.  It’s both important and necessary, for young kids in this generation to be comfortable with knowing how to operate things that are technical.

I’ll admit, I’m one of those parents who has always been intimated by technology. Anything technical I am just uncomfortable with. Thank God for my boys and my husbands knowledge, otherwise, I’d be a mess!

The thing about my boys is that technology, of any kind, whether it’s video games, using social media, doing school projects, does not intimidate them. And a large part of that is because they have been accustomed to using technology since they were very young. Also, they are not intimated by the constant changing of technology either. They are quick to learn and they often teach me!

However, like most things, there needs to be a balance in using it and finding other alternatives for toddlers to entertainment themselves as well as learn. I think parents of toddlers should use technology as one beneficial source of learning and/or entertainment, but not a sole source. Otherwise, technology can be very addictive and harmful both physically and psychologically. 

Technology should not replace human interaction.  It should definitely not be a replacement for "You" as a main means of personal communication.  Because of the continual use of tech today, kids can fall into the trap of being disconnected from their fellow human being, and lose that sense of human connection, sensitivity, compassion and dialogue to others.  Therefore making them socially awkward and basically, "nonsocial-able."  

Safety, is what our company, SafeHolmes is all about. Whether it's the physical, social, or psychological welfare of our young children, all of them are important when looking out for what is best for them.  

Here are some other points I’d like to make, from one caregiving parent to another:

    • Don’t let technology raise your kids!  Technology is not the caregiver…you are!

    Make sure that you spend quality time with your child. Enjoy them because as soon as you blink, they will be teenagers and have their own social life. Kids grow up very fast. so take advantage of any opportunity to be with them. This personal interaction will also build your relationship with them as they continue to grow and develop. 

    • Don’t let technology replace social interaction!

    Even though they are just toddlers, its still important that they have some social interaction with other toddlers. According to Tender Care Learning Centers, social interaction can develop toddlers:  strong language skills, creativity, social intelligence, and confidence.

     

     

    Articles to read:

     

    Kids Safety Network

    "Toddlers and Technology: Finding a Balance Between Banishment and Overuse"

    http://www.kidssafetynetwork.com/toddlers-technology-finding-balance-banishment-overuse/2016/15/

     

    BBC News Health Reporter

    "Does technology hinder or help toddlers' learning"

    http://www.bbc.com/news/health-22219881

     

    Human Development and Family Studies

    "Technology for children: Does it help or hinder learning?"

    https://www.writeupp.com/blog/technology-for-children-does-it-help-or-hinder-learning/

     

    Tender Care Learning Centers

    "Importance of Social Interaction for Early Childhood Development"

    https://earlyeducationpros.org/blog/item/86-importance-of-social-interaction-for-early-childhood-development

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