I Can’t Believe The Experts Overlooked This When Talking About
Child Development And Technology
These images are a bit disturbing to me. First because I’m afraid some of these babies may be more tech-savvy than I am! And second, because as cool as this is, I’m not sure we’re doing our kids any favors by putting them in front of screens so early.
Good Morning America ran a piece last week about toddlers and technology:
The child development experts were cautioning parents about screen time for toddlers because it gets in the way of actual face time with people.
The first 2 – 3 years of life are critical to brain development and engagement with people’s eyes, faces, and back-and-forth interaction are so important for the development of language and social skills.
What surprised me was that none of the experts mentioned the fact that child development also relies on movement, which screen time definitely curtails.
I had a young mother who was trying to be very proactive about her child’s education ask me what programs she should be using with her 3-year-old to teach him to read. What I told her was, “Take your child to the park. Make sure he gets outdoor time to run and climb and explore.”
It is through movement that humans begin to understand space, time, distance, right and left, up and down, force, and speed. This is how we internally organize and develop our body awareness and control. Movement provides the foundation that develops visual skills and the ability to use our eyes and hands together, that allows us to navigate our environment without bumping into people and things.
Good student skills that we all want for our kids – the ability to sit, pay attention, and read, write, and learn easily, rely on a foundation of skills learned through movement.
What technology can offer is colorful, fun, engaging, and often amazing, but it is also quite addictive and a too-convenient babysitter or pacifier. Experts say to limit screen time for under threes to 10 – 15 minutes a day.
BE CAREFUL with technology. Too much of a good thing is not a good thing. Get your kids moving! There is so much to be learned and such a critical foundation to be developed that cannot be built with a screen.
Movement supports memory, attention, and feelings of well-being at any age, so MORE MOVEMENT in 2015 is an “age appropriate” New Year’s Resolution for everyone!
I hope your holidays were all that you hoped they would be and wish you the very best in 2015.
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