Technology & Our Children. What’s Going On?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recently released a statement encouraging parents to ban direct screen time (television, movies, and any portable screen device) for children under two years of age. The Academy explained, “This updated policy statement provides further evidence that media — both foreground and background — have potentially negative effects and no known positive effects for children younger than 2 years. Thus, the AAP reaffirms its recommendation to discourage media use in this age group.”
A recent survey conducted by Common Sense Media indicates that many parents are ignoring the Academy’s advice. In the survey, found here, thirty seven percent of the households surveyed reported that over forty percent of their children under age two watch either TV or DVDs at least once a day. In a typical day, babies and toddlers spend an average of fifty four minutes watching TV or DVDs, compared to an average of twenty three minutes a day being read to. Twenty nine percent of 6 to 23 month olds in this study have a television in their bedroom (Emphasis and loud gasp ours). The Academy’s statement has been debated in cyberspace (where else) and has received pushback from parents who suggest that it is unreasonable and unrealistic to ban all screen use, and prefer instead to allow their toddlers to watch “Sesame Street” or play a game on the Ipad in moderation.
The Common Sense Media survey also found that about forty percent of 2- to 4-year-olds and more than half of 5- to 8-year-olds use smart phones, video iPods, iPads or similar devices. Common Sense has determined that in addition to the substantial digital divide (which exists because the majority of children from lower income and less well educated families do not have a computer at home), there is now an “app gap” between higher and lower income children, in terms of their access to and use of newer mobile devices and the programming available especially for these devices.
Read the full story HERE.
Having technology available does not mean that it should be used with children in the age ranges mentioned in this article. They will learn to be tech-savvy as they get older; these ages are just too young. The bad habits that can (and most likely will) be formed makes it too risky to expose them to t.v. and gadgets too soon.
I'm VERY concerned about how little these same children are being read to. "THE DOG YOU FEED THE MOST WILL WIN THE FIGHT"!! If young children who are forming habits are only read to for twenty minutes a day, yet have tech-time for fifty minutes a day, it's obvious what they
will grow to love and crave.
It would serve us well to limit technology so that our children will first develop a love of books and reading. When they're older, we can allow technology into their lives in moderation. Take it from a mom whose kid is reading at post college level in ninth grade, an honor student, and child prodigy violinist. College Recruiters are already interested in her. (I'm not bragging, just telling).
I dream of a world where all of our children have friends and associates to talk to about intellectual things and eventually marry. I want to see our children have a better relationships with school (and eventually college) than they presently do. Am I by myself in this?????
Oh how I long for the good ol days when life was simple