Technology also plays a significant role in parenting. In the past, when television was first invented, most children would be glued in front of the TV watching the morning cartoons. In the process, parents could do their regular chores while their children busied themselves with their cartoons.
As more advances happen, tech programs that capture the attention of children also become in demand. Game consoles will have educational games that are tailored for children and game programs on computers will teach young people to learn their alphabet and numbers. Game apps on smartphones, tablets and iPads are now helping parents take care of their toddlers.
Gadgets as Nanny Tools
Handheld devices of parents become an important tool to calm down children. When children throw a tantrum, parents instantly hand over their electronic gadgets to their children to play with. Surprisingly, young children find out the use of touch screens and manage to open significant apps that catch their interest. Parents may have downloaded an educational app from the Internet that will cater to young toddlers.
The pictures and voice prompt on the apps help young children understand objects that are around them. To cite an example, a parent’s grade school child downloaded an app for their toddler on a tablet. One day, the toddler was upset and the parent handed the tablet to calm the baby down. The baby suddenly stopped crying and clicked on the app to see the talking hippo who will teach him/her the various objects that are around. The results show that children at a very young age respond to familiar voices that they know will tell them the truth. As a result, the toddler’s constant playing of such apps make him/her learn things at such an early age.
Effects on Children
Educational apps for children easily find their way to every parent’s smartphones or tablets. These apps entertain children but it cuts them off from other external or real life stimuli. When a child becomes busy clicking on the screen, they don’t mind what’s happening around them. The electronic stimulation that children get from children apps make them absorb information faster and recall the learned information better. Parents will know when it’s time to download a new app when their children’s interest is again diverted to the real world around them. An upgraded version of the app that they initially started on will further make sure that mental improvements will be constant.
The Zombie Effect
One of the ill effects that technology has on young children is the zombie effect that they encounter. This effect goes way back to a time when cartoons on TV first made a strong impact on young viewers. Children tend to pick up values that they get from the materials that they watch and external events make them react less when badly needed. When a life-threatening incident happens in real life, children who are so accustomed to stare at a moving picture on a screen also stare at the incident that’s taking place around them.
Parental Intervention Needed
Responsible parenting is instrumental in achieving a healthy balance in their children’s exposure to technology. Personal interaction with a live person is still needed rather than entrusting everything with animal characters that are found in children’s apps. Teaching children to socialize with other children is a healthy start. Providing supplemental help from technological devices may improve the mental capability of children. Awareness about what is good and what is bad are also important. Teaching children directly to respond to real-life situations is also important for survival reasons.
A Blessing or a Curse
Technological improvements in our surroundings may be considered as a blessing or a curse. If people who have them use it correctly, then they are blessings that can improve the lives of the next generation. If an individual’s development becomes dependent exclusively on such devices, then it may lead to unwanted behavior that can be absorbed without proper adult monitoring.