Parents these days take the easy way out to keep their child entertained without acknowledging the idea of how technology can harm early childhood. It is becoming increasingly common to witness parents handing their children an iPad or phone in order to shut them up while having a meal in public. There are a few major harmful effects this bad habit can cause a child.
According to Cris Rowan, a pediatric occupational therapist, technology can not only affect a child’s growth but also the relationship of a family. Families used to spend quality time together as they use meal time as an opportunity to speak with each other and maintain a good relationship. After the emergence of technology, families are accompanied by the television or some other form of gadget rather than bonding with their loved ones.
Bad Eye Sight
Due to the amount of time that children nowadays spend on these gadgets, it is very bad for their eyes. Even for an adult, it can be just as harmful. It is known that training your eyes on the screen of a device is very damaging for eye sight due to the blue light from it.
This can cause severe short-sightedness and it can only get worse from there. It is never pleasant for a young child to suffer from poor eyesight. Having a bad eyesight would mean that the child is required to wear spectacles in order to see. This could be an issue that lowers a child’s self-esteem.
However, bad eyesight is only a part of it. It can get much worse and cause visual impairment. Something like this has already happened before where a child had to get eye surgery from the effects of spending too much time on the phone.
Short Attention Span
When a child as young as one year old had the opportunity to experience playing with something as fascinating and interesting as an electronic gadget, it becomes very difficult to get their attention once they start attending school. Nothing else seems to be as exciting as the magical screen where all the shows and games that they love appear on.
Things like boring toys or playschool lessons can no longer hold the attention of a child who’s been exposed to such advanced technology. This can affect their learning process in school or later in life. No other stuff can ever be as entertaining as the smartphone, TV or iPad at home.
This issue isn’t only going to affect the child’s learning in school but also the development of relationship with their parents. How can a parent bond with a child when all they want to do is spend time watching their favourite cartoon or playing the new fun game you installed?
Once a child had known the wonders of this technology, it becomes an addiction. They would want nothing but their iPad or smartphone. When they don’t get what they want, they cry, scream and kick. This shows that the use of technology has caused children to develop bad behaviour.
They start growing very impatient, it is as though they are unable to live without the device. Children start getting annoyed at the slightest things if you try to get them off their smartphones or iPads. It can be hurtful when you’re only trying to care for them but they get upset over you separating them from their precious gadgets.
It would be good to remind your child that you are the one who bought them the gadget and that you can confiscate the device for good if they do not behave. The point is that we should avoid letting this happen in the very first place.
It is not wrong to go to these gadgets for entertainment once in a while. However, it is important that parents are aware of the harmful effects they can cause children and make sure to limit the time they have access to these things. Parents should also avoid letting young children use these things. Toddlers are easily entertained and they can be calmed down by many ways other than using technology.
For more parenting advice and tips, please visit Motherhood.com.my.