Smartphones and tablets are an easy way to keep babies occupied and take your hands off them for a ‘lil while. Sadly, too many parents are neglecting their responsibilities and choose to use this easy way instead of playing with their babies.
Researches have been done regarding this issue, and to no one’s surprise, researchers found that too much time in front of a screen and not getting enough required stimuli from the real world can result in stunted development.
The negative effects of too much screen time
While many educational apps and TV shows are aimed at promoting brain development, most of the essential stimuli needed for child development in the early years can’t be found on screens. Children with extended exposure to electronic media can also be diagnosed with delayed cognitive development.
Dr Aric Sigman, an associate fellow of the British Psychological Society, says that too much screen time can result in permanent damage to the still-developing brains of very small children. He explains that too much screen time “is the very thing impending the development of the abilities that parents are so eager to foster through the tablets. The ability to focus, to concentrate, to lend attention, to sense other people’s attitude and communicate with them, to build a large vocabulary – all those abilities are harmed.”
Problems that could arise
Having a short attention span, an inability to concentrate, a sensory system that may become hypo or hyper sensitive, under developed fine and gross motor skills, and poor social skills – these are just some of the problems that could affect your baby.
When used to watching the screen, children are disconnecting from society, which limits their interactions with children their own age or family members. They might also develop identities from the TV shows they watch.
This is because moving images spoon-feeds images, words, and pictures all at once to a baby’s brain. “Rather than having to take time to process a mother’s voice into words, visualise complete pictures, and exert a mental effort to follow a story line, kids who follow stories on their smartphones get lazy. The device does the thinking for them, and as a result, their own cognitive muscles remain weak,” explain Liraz Margalit, a psychologist at ClickTale.
So, before you shove a tablet or smartphone to your baby, keep in mind the possible consequences.
Source: Active Baby Smart Kids.