Have you seen how quickly babies become slaves to screens? Tiny children barely able to toddle can expertly use an iPad. The iPad is a Far Bigger Threat to Our Children Than Anyone Realizes.
The iPad Is A Far Bigger Threat To Our Children Than Anyone Realizes
I am always concerned about my children’s physical and mental health. This is why limiting scree-time is important to me. Please read this post if you are also worried and want to take action before it is too late.
My 8 year old son just loves using the iPad. If I let him, he will spend the entire day playing with it. The more he uses my iPhone or iPad, the worse his behavior is afterwards. It is scary to watch how addictive these devices are. This is why I decided to take action. I need to limit its use and I need to be strict about it.
Few know that the late Apple boss Steve Jobs didn’t let his own children have iPads. Yes, he was very careful about the use of technology in his home because he knew how addictive technology is and how it can affect children’s development. Just wish he had gone public on this as other parents might have followed suit.
I am sharing an article from Sue Palmer a renowned child psychologist, who warns us of the dangers of too much screen-time on young people’s physical and mental health. It is very scary, but worth reading if you care about your children’s future.
Why The iPad is a Far Bigger Threat to Our Children Than Anyone Realizes.
Today, on average, children spend five to six hours a day staring at screens. Because technology moves so fast, and children have embraced it so quickly, it’s been difficult for parents to control it. And when it comes to spending a childhood in front of a screen, this generation are like lab rats. The long-term impact is not known.
Even before iPads hit the market in 2010, experts were warning that 80 per cent of children arrived at school with poor coordination, due to a sedentary lifestyle.
Many experts in the field of child development, have seen a rise in prescriptions for Ritalin, a drug for attention deficit and hyperactivity – a four-fold increase in less than a decade. And they’d collected a mass of research showing links between excessive screen-time and obesity, sleep disorders, aggression, poor social skills, depression and academic under-achievement.
It’s little wonder, then, that the boom in iPads and smartphones has coincided with further deterioration in the physical and mental health of children of all ages. Sadly, we’re seeing the rise of the ‘techno-tot’ for whom iPads have become the modern-day equivalent of a comfort blanket.
But it’s not just what children get up to onscreen that affects their overall development. It’s what screens displace – all the activities they’re not doing in the real world. Today’s children have far fewer opportunities for ‘real play’. They are no longer learning through first-hand experiences how to be human and are much less likely to play or socialize outdoors or with others.
The earlier children are hooked on screens, the more difficult it is to wean them off
Real play is a biological necessity. If the neural pathways that control social and imaginative responses aren’t developed in early childhood, it’s difficult to revive them later.
A whole generation could grow up without the mental ability to create their own fun, devise their own games and enjoy real friendships – all because of endless screen-time. It’s getting out and about – running, climbing, making dens and so on – that allows little children to gain physical skills. Playing ‘let’s pretend’ is a creative process requiring lots of personal input.
Real play develops initiative, problem-solving skills and many other positive traits, such as a can-do attitude, perseverance and emotional resilience.
It’s vital for social skills, too. By playing together, youngsters learn to get along with other people. They discover how others’ minds work, developing empathy. And, as real play is driven by an innate desire to understand how the world works, it provides the foundation for academic learning. Real play is evolution’s way of helping children develop minds of their own – curious, problem- solving, adaptable, human minds.
Babies are born with an intense desire to learn about their world, so they’re highly motivated to interact with people and objects around them – the beginning of real play. That’s why they love it when we play silly games with them, such as peekaboo, or they manage to grasp some household object. This is what helps them develop physical co-ordination and social skills.
But when little ones can get instant rewards from high-tech devices, they don’t need to bother with real play. Images on a screen can be just as fascinating as the real world, and even a very small child can learn to control the images with a clumsy swish of podgy fingers.
The effects of technology
Dr Aric Sigman, who has amassed a huge database of research linking children’s screen-time to ADHD, autism and emotional and behavioural disorders, also points to the conflict between screen-based activity and reading. ‘Unlike screen images, words don’t move, make noises, sing or dance. Ultimately, screen images render the printed word simply boring at a crucial phase when the child’s mind is developing,’ he says.
Modern technology develops at a phenomenal rate – any IT skills that children learn before the age of seven will be long past their sell-by date by the time they reach their teens.But self-confidence, emotional resilience, creative thinking, social skills and the capacity for focused thought will stand them in good stead whatever the future brings.
What we are doing at home to help
Instead of using electronics we are trying to spend more time outside. At home, we are playing more board games , reading more books, and I am not allowing tech devises at the dinner table anymore. It is really amazing to see the improvements. My kids are eating better and we are having real meaningful conversations! They are also able to fall asleep easily when he does not use the iPad before bed.
Less screen-time means an entire family effort. Adults and kids need to come together and spend more time as a family without the use of electronics. Set rules and time limits, and you will see the wonderful results.