Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Infants, Toddlers and Technology
1. Is the app developmentally appropriate for your child? (Chronological age and developmental age is not always the same.)
2. Are you interacting with your child while he or she is engaged with the tablet or computer game? It is much more meaningful and more significant to the child socially if your child is also engaging with you while involved with the technology.
3. How much “screen time” is your child exposed to each day? We’re not just talking about the television anymore, because screen time now also includes the computer, the video screen in the car that your child watches during transit times, not to mention your smart phone that you hand the child to keep him/her occupied in the car, the line at the grocery store or the waiting room at the doctor’s office. It all adds up, so please be mindful of how much screen time your young child is exposed to throughout the day.
4. Is stacking blocks from largest to smallest on an iPad game really the same as doing the same activity with real live 3D blocks? Not really. Yes, some of the same problem-solving elements are in effect with both activities, but what about fine motor development and how about the impact that gravity has on the old-fashioned, stack-the-blocks activity? I think that I’m going to defer to the real live version every time.
I’m not dissing technology. I own an iPad, and it sits on my nightstand and plays the sound of ocean waves throughout the night. I couldn’t sleep without it, and I have been known to fall asleep with my laptop on the bed. I’m just stressing that we need to be mindful about all the elements in our environment and the potential impact these influences are having on our children.