There is a new movement towards having children watch Ipads to keep them distracted. I have seen this in waiting rooms, stores, and first hand experience with my nephews. They seem to be addicted to the Ipad and throw temper tantrums when they cannot use it anymore after being on it for hours. I think it is really important to look at the side effects this has on brain development.
“Between 0 and 2 years, infant’s brains triple in size, and continue in a state of rapid development to 21 years of age (Christakis 2011). Early brain development is determined by environmental stimuli, or lack thereof. Stimulation to a developing brain caused by over exposure to technologies (cell phones, internet, iPads, TV), has been shown to negatively affect executive functioning, and cause attention deficit, cognitive delays, impaired learning, increased impulsivity, and decreased ability to self-regulation e.g. tantrums (Small 2008, Pagini 2010).”
Technology inhibits the brain development of young children which is detrimental to different aspects of their life as they grow and develop. This article shows that young children, from when they are first born to around the age of six, have significant brain development which determines their personality, social behavior, emotional behavior, and other significant aspects of their life. These aspects are crucial for the healthy development of a child’s mind as they grow and develop. Social behavior and connections with other people are negatively affected by the overuse of technology. Too much exposure to non educational technology will be detrimental to children’s brain growth in these areas. This artocle also shows the recommended amount of usage of technology range for each age. A child two and under should not be exposed to any technology, a child aged three to five should only be allowed one hour daily and older children should only be allowed two hours per day. Technology exposure has taken the place of physical activities which also hinders the development of necessary coordination and sensory and motor skills. Babies and young children need crucial exposure to physical activities, social interaction, and emotional experiences in order to gain proper abilities in life. A child’s personality is also formed during these imperative years. Physical activities such as sports or just playing with toys enhance and develop a child’s coordination. It also contributes to the development of knowing what a child can do physically and what he or she can’t do, for example if something hurts or a parent says no. These actions of learning also plays into personality such as when a parent says no, a child learns what is not okay and learns discipline. Social interaction is also imperative. Too much exposure to video games and television will result in a child who does not gain skills essential in life. Motor skills will not flourish efficiently. This will result in delayed advancements from crawling to walking. Too much technology, without enough physical activity will result in underdeveloped coordination.
Children, from when they are born, have essential brain developments that will shape them as an individual for the rest of their life. Technology is a factor that will harm and disrupt these developments. It is important for parents to make sure their children are exposed to only what will enhance their learning, not harm it. Parents play an important role in monitoring a child’s exposure to technology, which needs to be taken seriously. Studies need to be made known on how this technology is affecting children and why it is so important for parents to be aware of what their children are being exposed to. Stories on what can and will happen need to become apparent, along with the means to prevent it. Parents need to become aware that they are providing the building blocks to how their children will develop, and that the wrong building block can be detrimental to their child as they grow older into their adult life.