It is now common to see tablets or phones in the hands of children in any home. Some parents seem to have a comfort zone and consider these devices very useful for stopping their child to cry. However, while these devices can benefit in some ways, if there is no controlled limitation, a child development will be affected negatively.
There are smartphones and tablets or computers in almost every home. While we, as adults, are so intensely interested in these devices, it is normal for our children to be interested as well. Especially, if we consider that children model the behaviors of their parents and shape their own behaviors accordingly, our way of dealing with tablet or phones becomes even more important.
Most of us use smart devices not only for communication but also for gaming purposes. Therefore, children who see their parents playing and enjoying with these devices may also tend to engage in similar behavior. Therefore, it is so meaningless to say “no, no” and ban it completely when the child wants to play, while we are playing games with a tablet or phone in front of the child.
First, lets start points why smart devices may be helpful for children development.
The Positive Effect of Smartphones on Child Development
While it may negative aspects of tablets or phones may be the first thing coming to mind, the learning benefits of smartphone technology cannot be ignored.
Children may develop self-sufficiency skills
Through early guidance and support, parents can help children learn how to self-regulate the time they spend on their phones. This lesson will help them create and practice healthy self-awareness practices that will better prepare them for adolescence and, eventually, young adulthood.
Digital literacy of child can be improved
As children use smartphones, they effectively prepare themselves to engage with future technologies. Figuring out how to navigate online resources for their needs through screens, children develop a greater knowledge.
Why Limit Use of Tablets & Smartphones For Child?
Tablet or smart phone usage can lead to adverse bodily effects
A recent article published in the Journal of Child Development explored the physical health consequences of smartphone use for children. It stated that, as more children begin using smartphones at earlier ages, children may have neurological diseases, physiological addiction, cognition, sleep and behavioral problems.
Tablet/phone usage can change the parent/child relationship
A child’s brain between the age of 0 and 2 triples in size. Their activity and interactions build pathways in their brain that enables them to learn to bond emotionally with others. If children do not have those normal activities and interactions, neural pathways change and different ones are created.
Excessive screen exposure affects learning ability
Smartphones and tablets are a constant distraction children. Especially, replacing the hands-on activities that are so important in the development of sensori motor and visual motor skills with tablets or other devices may impede a child progress by harming a child’s creativity and imagination, slowing their sensory and optical development.
Screen use can delay or disrupt sleep. Not having enough shut-eye leads to tired, sore eyes. The AAP recommends children not sleep with devices in their bedrooms, including TVs, computers and smartphones. In addition, the AAP recommends avoiding exposure to screens for one hour before going to bed.
Excessive screen use can increase the risk of obesity. children who spend more than 5 hours for tablets or phones per day are 5 times more likely to be overweight than those who spend 0 to 2 hours.
Negative effect on school performance.
Children often use entertainment media at the same time that they are doing other things, such as homework. Such multi-tasking can have a negative effect on school.
Children on online can be victims of cyber bullying. Cyber bullying can lead to short and long-term negative social, academic, and health issues for both the bully and the target.