Stagnant development in personality growth, inexperience in human interaction, and brain damage, are a few of parents’ worst nightmares. Most parents want the absolute best for their children and will try to help them achieve this any way possible. One easy tip: rethink handing over your electronic devices to your children.
Unfortunately, it is often hard to find objective information about the pros and cons of using screen technology in young children since most of the information available comes from companies whose profits depend on the sales of those devices. Skilled Marketing Specialists around the world have been so smart as to label new technologies- such as smart phones, tablets, as e-books- “interactive” to make them appear far more intellectual and beneficial than its predecessors of the “old technologies” such as television and video games.
However, despite the arduous task of discovering unbiased information, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Child was able to uncover plenty of enough information and submit report which displayed the staggering results of electronic screens and children.
To date, research tells us that screen time has no real benefit for infants and toddlers; for older children, the nature of the content they experience and the amount of time they spend with screens are things to be greatly considered. “Games and digital activities that limit children to a predetermined set of responses have been shown to diminish creativity. Exposure to media violence is linked to aggression, desensitization to violence, and lack of empathy for victims. Media violence is also associated with poor school performance.”
Even the visual aspects of screen watching can have adverse effects; preschoolers who watched 20 minutes of a fast paced cartoon show has shown a negative impact on executive function skills, including attention, the ability to delay gratification, self-regulation, and problem solving. Campaign for a Commercial-Free Child reported preschoolers spend anywhere from at least 2.2 hours to as much as 4.6 hours per day with screen media.
“Research tells us that developing children thrive when they are talked to, read to, played with and given time for creative play, physically active play, and interactions with other children and adults.” Knowing this, it could be translated that placing an electronic screen in front of your child does not ignite development. In fact, limiting a child’s time with an electronic screen is as important as monitoring its content.
Extensive screen time has been linked to childhood obesity, sleep disturbance, and learning, attention, and social problems. Screen time takes away from what is important and healthy for a child’s development and growth; it takes children away from hands-on creative play that develops imagination and creativity; it also takes children away from caring adults. “The so-called interactive electronic books- in which screen images respond to touch with sound effects or words or simple movements- are less likely to induce the kind of adult-child interactions that promote literacy than traditional books do.
Do not choose electronic screens; they only inhibit children from their full potential. Be responsible and care. Julia Steiny, the founding director of the Youth Restoration Project, explains, “…letting children get sucked down the rabbit hole of e-entertainment is parental misbehavior. Facts are stacking up.” Studies and reports show how important interactions are between parents and children; choose a healthy and beneficial activity such as reading — printed books — after seeing the devastating causes of electronic screen use.
The P.A. Hutchison Company has been providing printing excellence since 1911. Contact us today to order your print and to “say NO” to electronic media.
Read Campaign for a Commercial-Free Child’s full report here: http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/sites/default/files/facingthescreendilemma.pdf