Nowadays, it’s typical to come across a child grasping for an electronic gadget. Observe your surroundings, and you’ll see a kid holding an iPhone, a toddler playing games on a smartphone, or a youngster watching videos on a tablet.
Parents primarily use these handy devices to pacify wailing toddlers or keep kids quiet for a stretch of time. While these nifty tools are educational and entertaining, these gadgets are slowly replacing toys, storybooks, and playgrounds. Furthermore, with the disturbingly rising rate of gadget use, kids learn first how to operate these things instead of mainly finding out how to walk or tie a shoelace.
Pros And Cons Of Electronic Gadget Use Of Children
1. The Astounding Gains
First and foremost, the term “electronic gadget” refers to devices such as televisions, video games, smartphones, tablets, computers, and PSP games. When you look at this list, basically it shows you instruments ordinarily available to children.
It’s a no surprise then that with kids having access to smartphones and tablets, electronic companies are targeting them as active consumers. You’ll normally see these youths getting free mobile applications by themselves.
With these kinds of technology available to our youngsters, let’s look at how they benefit them:
- Stimulate the senses and imagination
At present, there is a proliferation of quality and well-designed TV programs. These prime shows are developed with particular educational goals and these are to promote an avenue for early language and literacy for children. More than that, high-quality programs equally stimulate children’s imaginative play.
Meanwhile, studies revealed that digital tools such as learn-to-read and e-book applications can boost early learning through practice with letters, phonics, and word recognition.
Notably, research likewise indicates that interactive applications which require adult responses aide in strengthening the kids’ memory. Aside from this, an adult involvement paired with proper content, plus timing and intensity of action, foster learning of new words.
- Encourage cognitive learning
Cognitive learning is commonly considered as the ability to process information, reason, remember, and relate. With the help of electronic devices and downloaded applications, it motivates children’s cognitive learning and development of analytical skills.
This is wholly possible thru resources similar to logical thinking programs, online puzzles, digital drawing tools, and high-tech cameras. With these available components, kids can easily tackle problem-solving, communicate with others, and illustrate their thoughts, ideas, and stories.
Significantly, in return, these develop children’s progressive thinking and investigation skills, strategic thinking, and creativity. As kids are fully interested in experiencing modern gadgets, they bolster efficient learning among them.
- Improve manual dexterity
As a motor skill, Dexterity is simply known as the capacity to use your hands skillfully, rapidly, and easily. When toddlers engage in gadget use like playing games on a tablet, their fingers and hands get an exercise. Not only this, at the same time, it builds precise hand-eye coordination.
With optimal gadget use, kids discover how to effectively use their hands and fingers in just a short period of time.
- Build confidence
Educational and fun games are prevalent in today’s electronic gadgets. In playing these games, kids have to earn a score and move up to certain levels, which positively build their confidence. On one hand, when children use computers, they gives them the opportunity to work independently and learn on their own.
In any case, these enjoyable and entertaining instruments, which at times involve mastering these recreations, can result in confidence-building.
- Develops mathematical and engineering skills
Furthermore, while interactive games and activities build confidence, it is also shown that kids attempting to move up the levels and to earn higher scores develop their mathematical and engineering skills.
In addition to that, allowing children to play on their own helps them to cope effectively with their studies. With today’s technology, online quizzes and tutorials are easily accessible to those who need them.
- Enables goal motivation and enhances competitive skills
Finally, electronic devices and their accessible games motivate children to meet goals. To be able to move up a level and obtain higher scores, online games ordinarily have goals that the players have to complete in order to advance.
Incidentally, these types of games also permit kids to play with people around the world, relatives, and friends. They build within the children that spirit of friendly competition. Moreover, these games allow them to appropriately handle themselves while in a competitive environment.
2. The Alarming Pitfalls
Remarkably, researchers discovered that children spend around seven and a half hours staring at screens. With numerous devices available to them, hours are spent playing games, listening to songs, watching movies, or chatting with friends.
While participating in these activities, these youths simply neglect to watch their posture, screen brightness, and distance from their eyes which tremendously affect their overall health.
Given these detrimental implications, find out the notable negative effects of electronic gadgets to children:
- Contribute to speech or language delay
To start off, let’s understand how these two terms are different from each other. Primarily, a toddler with speech delay might use words and phrases to express ideas. However, he or she might be difficult to understand. Meantime, language delay happens when a toddler can pronounce words well however he or she is only able to put two words together.
Research shows that with heavy screen time or gadget use, children are more inclined to experience a delay in expressive speech. The more time a child spends on a smartphone, tablet, and online games; the less time he or she spends in interacting and communicating with real people. Ultimately, these result in speech or language delay.
- Trigger sleep issues
Children who spend too much time on gadgets especially at night, acquire less sleep. Studies revealed that the light emitted by screens slows down melatonin release, thereby resulting in difficulty in falling asleep.
Take note as well of the kind of content your child is exposed to. Researchers found out that toddlers subjected to violent media are susceptible to nighttime sleep dilemmas.
- Misses out on human interaction
Evidence shows that overexposure to technology and limited time with people impede human interaction. Additionally, it interferes with children’s natural communication skill growth. Surrounding kids with electronic gadgets will definitely fail to strengthen their communication with his or her parents.
While you may hear others with communication skills comparable to those you see on television, these kids fail when it comes to socializing with other people.
- Breed violence
With children left to long hours of playing on their devices, they turn to be aggressive over time. Toddlers develop tantrums as they grow older.
Besides that, research shows that youngsters exposed to television at an early age may have a hard time handling their emotions and comforting themselves afterward.
- Result in obesity
Staring at a screen at all times means your child isn’t moving as needed. Consequently, staying indoors results to your child not burning the calories he or she is taking in.
This situation may translate to childhood obesity which in turn can usher other complications like diabetes, heart attack, and stroke. The latest research indicates that a kid’s body mass index increases with every hour of screen time per week.
- Cultivate addiction
Consistently giving in to the whims of your child may result in addiction. Children essentially need to be exposed to the outside world instead of being left at home tinkering with their devices.
When screen time becomes a habit, it can be tough to break. A study was done on four-year-olds who spends time watching television found out that these kids struggle to take a break from screens when they eventually turned six.
3. Reminder: Parents Make A Difference!
As a parent, your child shouldn’t have to compete with electronic devices to capture your attention. Optimally, show the young ones the correct and healthy screen habits. To reinforce proper child health and development in a digitally-infused world, always follow these rules: Minimize, Mitigate, and always be Mindful.
4. Minimize Gadget Time
- It is recommended that toddlers below two-years-old shouldn’t have screen time.
- Limit electronic gadget use of children two to five years old to less than 1 hour per day.
- Avoid routine sedentary screen time for children below five-year-old.
- Implement a daily screen-free period such as family meal time or book sharing hour.
- With the documented melatonin-suppressing effects, discourage your child from using electronic gadgets one-hour before bedtime.
5. Mitigate The Impacts
- Reinforce co-viewing with your kids. Whenever possible be present and engaged during screen time of your children.
- Focus on educational, age-appropriate, and interactive programming.
- Practice parenting techniques that demonstrate self-regulation, calming, and limit-setting.
6. Be Mindful of Sensible Gadget Use
- Assess the current screen habits of the family. Arrange a timetable for when, how, and where devices are possible or not possible to use.
- Don’t forget, overexposure to electronic devices means missed opportunity for teaching and learning with your kids.
Nonetheless, parents should encourage reading, outdoor play, and creative hands-on activities for your kids. To strengthen family time, turn off devices and remove background television during these moments.