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Technology, like anything else, has pros and cons – there are positive effects on children and there are also negative ones. The key is being aware of both sides and managing your child’s technology time in an appropriate and effective way.
Here are three pros and cons of the use of technology in childhood development:
According to the CDC, one in five school-aged children are now classified as obese and the number of obese children in the US has tripled since the 1970s. These terrifying stats are similar to others coming from around the world.
The increasing use of technology in young children has resulted in a sedentary lifestyle with children spending more time indoors in front of screens that they do outside. This lack of exposure to nature and little sporting activity has resulted in an obese generation of children.
Privacy and safety
One of the main concerns about children’s exposure to technology is the possible privacy and safety risk. The internet is a hotbed for paedophiles and other predators that use the web as a way to ‘groom’ children from a distance and parents can’t be careful enough when it comes to checking who their kids are interacting with.
The use of technology and internet also exposes children to adult material such as pornography or animal abuse. This needs to be closely monitored, and there should be privacy settings for inappropriate sites on all your child’s points of access.
The irony of the increasing use of technology in childhood development, is that as children become more connected to the internet, they also become less connected to the world around them. Social media and other interactive platforms allow kids to have a social life without actually seeing anyone else.
A number of studies have found that children who have more screen time and less personal interaction are less likely to empathize with others and have hard time creating friendships – they also have less social skills than those with less screen time.
Information and education
Never before have children had access to such a wealth of information, they are exposed to things that we could only dream of in our childhoods. They can experience cultures from all over the world through the internet and their political and religious views can be learnt from sources other than those of their family.
The use of technology has given us the opportunity to broaden our children's’ minds and they have experiences that were simply never possible before.
Technology has the knack of keeping easily-distracted children entertained for longer periods of time. This is incredibly handy when you are a working parent and can’t give your child 100% of your attention at all times. While some games can be mindless entertainment, there are also educational games that you can use for teaching your children while they have fun.
While personal interaction is important, technology has provided a way to keep children busy and entertained during long flights or car trips, and it certainly take a load off you as a parent.
Prepared them for the rest of their lives
The fact of the matter is that every facet of our lives now involves some sort of technology; from education to entertainment to personal lives and professions. Technology is increasingly dominating every industry in the world and that’s why it’s essential that your kids learn how to use it early on.
The use of technology in childhood is the best way to gear your children for what lies ahead of them. They will need to be tech-savvy for the future, and the best way to get a grip on it, is to start early.
At Miniland, we believe that children are best educated through the use of hands on, personal interactions and technology in equal measure and that’s why our speciality toys and educational games were created with both in mind. Have a look at our blog if you want to keep up-to-date with tips, tricks and advice for parents and teachers alike.