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Introduction to the Problem
In the age when technologies came to play important parts in people’s lives, there is a steady increase in the use of them among children. This is not surprising considering that children, compared to adults, are much more adaptive to technologies since they grow up with them being in their immediate access the majority of the time. Kids play with digital devices in a variety of public settings, ranging from restaurants to playgrounds.
Parents encourage such behaviors because they divert their children’s attention, making it easier to do other things, such as work or have conversations. However, the adverse influence that technologies can have on children, starting from toddlers, cannot be disputed. While tablets, phones, gaming devices, and other gadgets represent valuable tools for learning, development, and entertainment, they can be harmful. They challenge the nature of relationships between parents and their children, become addictive, and may lead to the emergence of future insecurities and behavioral problems. Thus, this paper will explore the topic of toddlers being accustomed to the use of technologies and discuss the ramifications of parents allowing such behaviors.
Exploring Issues: How Technologies Affect Children
With new devices and advanced technologies emerging every year, an overarching majority of people are used to having gadgets at home, at work, and in their pockets all the time. This habit is gradually transferred to children as early as their toddler age since they find technologies interesting and entertaining. Moreover, toddlers have been showing astonishingly fast rates of understanding how to use the latest technologies, as indicated by Prigg’s report for Daily Mail.
According to the article, it was found that half of the toddlers can use an iPad when they are only a year old, with up to ninety percent of them understanding how to use the device by the time they turn two years old (Prigg). Apple iPads and other similar devices are useful for a variety of reasons, including educational applications, books, videos, listening to music, which is why seven out of ten parents let their children play with their tablet (Chase). However, family physicians and psychotherapists have reported an increased regularity of parents dealing with their children throwing tantrums because of technology use and a persistent addiction to them.
Due to the increased number of reports notifying kids experiencing high levels of attachment to their devices, it is necessary to address the adverse effects that such dependence may yield in the future (Chase). One of the first concerns associated with the use of technologies by extremely young children is the possibility to change the relationship between parents and children. As children grow up to reach the age of two, their brains triple in size, with their parents’ touch and voice playing instrumental roles in building brain pathways and helping to learn how to connect emotionally with other people.
However, as mentioned by Johnson, in those children who spend an excessive amount of time behind screens, neural pathways change, with new ones being created. This affects the concentration of toddlers, which leads to a lower quality of personal relationships with parents.
As technologies represent tools that are always changing and including new additions to their entertainment options, children are unlikely to become attached (Stothart et al. 893). While there is often something new to do with technologies and there are infinite options for entertainment, it complicated for children to stop using them and replace them with other activities. The unhealthy attachment of children to technologies contributes to the challenges associated with impulse control and emerging traits of an addictive personality. The increased addiction to gadgets is later the reason for frequent tantrums. When children are taken away their favorite toy, a device, they may start misbehaving. To calm them down, parents may give the gadgets back, thus initiating a vicious cycle.
Behavioral issues associated with technology use can affect the ability of children to learn. This is directly connected to issues with concertation – in attention-demanding tasks, the disruptions caused by technologies lead to breaches in performance (Stothart et al. 893). Besides, the devices can replace important hands-on activities that are essential for the development of crucial visual-motor and sensorimotor skills, which are especially relevant when it comes to the future application of science and mathematics. Various types of online games also limit the creativity of children and their perception of the world, which is another important takeaway to mention.
To summarize the current exploration, it is important to note that technologies represent valuable tools for encouraging the development of young children. The colors, sounds, and the application of sensorimotor skills create a perfect environment for learning and creative thinking. However, putting a limit to the number of time children are allowed to spend with gadgets is essential to ensuring that toddlers develop as well-rounded individuals without a dependency on entertainment. It is recommended that parents acknowledge the harmful consequences of allowing their children to use technologies too often and engage with them through play, conversations, and emotional connections.
Chase, Jon. “Tech Tantrums: 6 Things Parents Need to Know.” Laptopmag. 2013. Web.
Johnson, Chandra. “Face Time vs. Screen Time: The Technological Impact on Communication.” Deseret News. 2014. Web.
Prigg, Mark. “The iPad Really Is Child’s Play: More Than Half of Toddlers Can Use Apple’s Tablet When They Are Just One, Researchers Say.” Daily Mail. 2015. Web.
Stothart, Cary et al. “The Attentional Cost of Receiving a Cell Phone Notification.” Journal of Experimental Psychology, vol. 41, 2015, pp. 893-897.