Parents are concerned that mobile devices have negative effects on their children. While this is a commonly held conception, it is an idea that should be challenged.
A phone screen, for example, can show parents what their children are learning and interacting with. Phones do not have to be a passive technology. Children can use technology for an interactive learning experience. Fear of technology “destroying” children is nothing new. A half century ago, many people held the same fear about the television.
Three common fears held by parents are as follows:
1. Screens are passive and will keep children from getting up and moving. A natural counterargument to this is that phones have tremendous educational capacity. For instance, a child’s game where the child emulates an animal behavior can help teach them about the world and start conversations among children.
2. Playing games is a waste of time and distracting. Data analysis from a group of young children playing a math game allows researchers to assess the children’s cognitive learning skills and accurately predicted their results on a math test. Games can have predictive value.
3. Screens are isolating your child. This misses the opportunity that parents have to talk with their children about what they are watching. The passive act of watching a program or just talking about a program is not sufficient to gain the benefit. However, if a parent talks to their child about what they are playing or watching, the programs that they are watching on the phone or device can help the child learn and grow.
It does no good to pretend that screens are not a part of our children’s lives. We should look at the positives of technology and devices rather than focusing on all of the negatives.
The future is technology, so don’t feel guilt when your kids stay glued to screens. #HealthStatus
- 1Parents have been concerned with technology’s effects on kids since television.
- 2Sara DeWitt argues Smartphones can actually stimulate growth in children.
- 3Children need to be prepared and understand the modern world.
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