Last week I spoke about social media and teens, this week I want to discuss the use of ipads and iphones to entertain your small child.
I pointed out last week that humans are social creatures, that a little one’s brain grows, learns and makes neuro connections through contact with parents. This contact encompasses all the senses, hearing (mom and dad’s voice when speaking/reading/singing), touching (sitting on mom and dad’s lap, holding hands, being carried), sight (seeing mom and dad’s attention on them, not on the screen; playing with toys, seeing the outside world) and tasting (putting everything within reach in the mouth). When a child’s attention is focused on a screen all that is stimulated is the eyes, all the other senses are ignored and when your attention is focused on the device in your hand, your child doesn’t get the visual stimulus needed by seeing your face and eyes. Attachment happens with eye contact and touch, your child will feel ignored and unloved simply because you couldn’t PUT DOWN YOU iPAD OR iPOD. You are modeling what is important, the computer and phone. Don’t be too surprised that as your child grows, so will their interest in that screen and not with you.
Please read the seven possible dangers to the left of this post and really think about what it says about technology and little ones. Pay attention to your little one and not the flickering screen, it’s a one sided relationship, with you doing all the interacting. Children grow up so fast, the screen will always be around.