When Is It Okay To Allow Your Kids On Gadgets?


By Celine Villadares

The time spent by children on screen has been a growing concern for most parents, in addition to their access to almost limitless sites in the wired world of internet. Information can be quite overwhelming and influence left and right can be quite confusing in a child’s developing mind. So, how should parents address this growing issue? Is there a right age for your kids to get hold of a technological device?

Some parents who have such busy schedules and juggle both work and parenting find laptops and tablet a relief in pacifying a crying child. Also, tablets have become the top choice of many young parents in teaching their children of basic things such as alphabet, numbers, colors and action songs. However, it is a fact that infants and toddlers have yet immature cognitive skills that may affect their symbolic memory and social-emotional skills; which mean that learning from watching videos would not be as beneficial as real time interaction. In the long run, gadgets can make life a little easier to control young ones for the parents, but it is providing a limited field of learning for the children.

Most articles would encourage parents to let their child be at least 2 years old and above before they get to have access to smartphones or laptops. But this should be with time constrictions and proper understanding on how to use these devices. Parents must be consistent with their stand when it comes to their children’s usage of techy gadgets as this would establish discipline. According to research, the use of human interaction is most beneficial with children under 2 years old; those who are older appear to get some benefit as children tend to pick up new words from watching educational videos online as guided by parents.

As for school aged children, nowadays most schools integrate the use of technology to deliver knowledge and catch up on the changing culture of learning for students. And this situation can make parents feel torn to whether or not allow their children with gadgets. In this time, parents can maximize the benefits on their side by only allowing educational resources found online and limit the usage of online games and other social accounts. It is all in the discipline imposed by parents when it comes to the proper use of these technological devices.

In this time of progressive growth with advance technology, some parents may find it hard to balance and to provide the best environment for their kids. It can be overwhelming as some factors cannot be controlled outside of their house, specifically for those raising schooling children. However, as long as parents’ presence is felt by their kids, and onscreen activities have not replaced human interaction, we believe that children should grow just fine.

Resource: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/138/5/e20162591


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