Left to their own devices,children of any age can become addicted to the screen and media. If left unmanaged, this significantly affects your kid’s development. Exposure in itself is fine, but the control and the time they spend in front of any screen are the issues that need to be addressed and managed.
Being a parent who works 40 days a week is tough. Sometimes after a tiring shift at work, silence is heaven. It’s so easy to hand over your phone to your chatty 3-year-old daughter to give yourself a couple of minutes to yourself after seeing the nanny to the door.
Don’t make a habit out of this, because it will condition your child to think that you’re not interested in engaging them in a discussion of how your day or their day went. It also lets them think that they can play with Mommy or Daddy’s device the moment they get home.
Whileexposure to technology is great at a young age, it is equally important to limit how much exposure they have, because it may interfere with the natural progression of their development, which should be facilitated by parents.
When Too Much Technology Is Bad
Many parents today rely on their iPads, iPhones, Android tablets, or phones to silence their kids when the young ones get fussy. This can be okay once in a while, but it conditions their kids to think that they can throw a tantrum to get their hands on your device.
When your child is more interested in your phone than you, then you’ve got yourself a problem. Start weaning them away from devices and the TV set, and start spending more time with them, playing real games or reading books. You may even take them outside, so they can be exposed to other people and the outside world.
How to Control Exposure to Technology
Try to set only an hour or two tops within the day where they’re allowed to watch Little Einsteins or play with an iPad. This lets them know that there is a certain schedule that they have to follow, and it keeps them from asking for the devices too often.
Be sure that you’re close by when they’re using the device. Aside from making sure restrictions are in place, set up a parental control app that helps monitor the time and the actual apps they can access.
Encourage Reading and Play Time
Depending on the age of your kid, you have to make sure that they are conditioned to think that reading, playing, and studying are activities that provide more fun than staring at a TV or tablet screen. Try introducing them to music as well.
Some studies found thattechnology negatively impacts cognitive development. These studies say that technology changes the way children think and focus. This is why controlling their exposure to devices is important.
No matter how tired you are from a day’s work, be sure to make time for your little one. They’re only young once and time flies so fast. They’ll be off to college before you know it.
Don’t allow technology to create a wall between you and your kid. Control their exposure to devices, so you can spend as much time with them as you can without them throwing a fit to get what they want rather than spend time with you.