Our parents who are now in their 60’s and 70’s did not even get to enjoy television as kids. In this regard we who are now in our 30’s and 40’s are lucky enough to have gotten chance to watch the idiot box while growing. Our kids who are now in their 2’s, 3’s or even teens are the luckiest generations till date who not only had the opportunity to grow with Internet but also are getting the pleasure and exposure of high-end gadgets and devices.
Today’s toddlers indulge themselves with Youtube cartoons and rhymes on mama-papa’s laptops and tablets while teens cannot keep their fingers off from clicking the Facebook like buttons on their smart phones and Internet televisions. From the advent of high-tech gadgets, especially tablets like iPads and smart phones like iPhones, every member of the family seems to have been gadget maniac!
Pre-schoolers have great learning applications from stories to alphabets to phonics to handwriting skills development, all available on iPad. They are the true, should I say mutants since they are born tech geniuses. Even a baby as young as one year old has the ability to quickly learn and efficiently operate touch screen devices. Yes, I understand the fact that tablets and touch screen smart phones are easy to use but a year old kiddo! I am not kidding you. Just open Youtube and give the search query “year old baby using ipad” and you will be amazed to see the tiny techies!
Gone are the days of kids sitting hours in front of television and moms yelling at them. Today’s kids are smart and tech savvy and this is the era of Playstation, Xbox 360, Social Media and friends sites on internet, kids moving to high schools with cell phones in pockets and carrying iPods to gyms. Gadgets define the coolness quotient for today’s kids. While yummy-mummies are busy on laptops at home and cheesy-papas are loaded with software jobs, kids get all the freedom to enjoy their electronic gadgets.
All said, Is it really cool to hook our kids to gadgets? If yes, how much is too much?
When we were in USA, our son started using iPad when he was just one and a half-year old. And we thought how cool is that! But soon started reading so much about the consequences that we now follow a regime and he has fixed duration for iPad time. Infact, I seriously started writing about early exposure to gadgets and technology on my blog. What I am trying to say is every sweet dish we relish has the chance of bringing us closer to diabetes!!!
I recently started a discussion in the forum of circle of moms about allowing screen time to kids that includes television, laptops, tablets and smart phones. And I also started another discussion asking moms if they allow gadgets time to their toddlers/kids? I got the response from moms around the world which was huge in numbers that I really did not expect. The opinions expressed by moms were casual, concerned, blasts, arguments and discussions. What I found was they had mixed opinions of yes and no to screen time for kids especially for the kids under five.
Mothers around the world expressed their concern regarding Psychological and Physical disorders that might harm kids at such tender age. ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), behavioural problems and eye and posture related developmental problems were some of the things among others that were discussed related to exposure to gadgets at early age.
After analysing all the inputs given from mothers on the forum one thing that was common was “Yes, I allow but for limited time according to the schedule and mostly monitored”. We cannot deny the fact that today’s world runs on technology and we just cannot afford to deprive our growing kids from that kind of exposure. Be it for competition or handling peer pressure or adapting to the change, gadgets and devices are the essential evil to our children. We just cannot say no; but “how much” and “what” is something we have to decide on and justify the same to the rebellion kids.
What do you have to tell about it? Do you think our kids need to catch the pace or totally stay away from these freaking devices?
Medha, queen of queensquill.com is a freelance writer, a full time blogger, earns on internet working from home, lives for the love of writing and breathes for the soul of her life, her son. Say Hi to this tweety Mama among many tweeple @QueensQuill who has now started catching the pace of social media.