Recently, a fellow blogger wrote in to one of the mom forums posing the question, “Should she get her child an IPad or a Tablet?” She was concerned because there is much debate on introducing technology to our young ones too soon. I have heard arguments for this coming from both sides & wanted to weigh in with my thoughts & maybe hear some of yours as well. There are a number of reasons that doctors and child psychologists list for not introducing television & computers at a young age.
1. Not enough social interaction
2. Not enough physical activity
3. Shortens attention span
4. Over stimulation
5. Not enough hands on learning time
Most argue that none of these should be introduced before 2 and that even “educational programming & applications” may bear not any real learning merit. My daughter just turned 2. A common day with our daughter begins anywhere between 6:30am-8am and lasts until about 8-9 at night. During the course of my toddler’s day she eats, reads, colors, builds, pretends, cooks with mommy, chases the dog, jumps, crafts and yes, watches TV & plays on the computer. Shocking, I know!
I first introduced her to the television with Baby Einstein videos. Her favorites were ‘My First Signs’ & ‘World Animals’. Many may not agree with it, but it was a great learning tool for her. Mai was using sign language early on and many of her first words were animals that she had seen repeatedly from watching them on TV & seeing them in books. You may shake your head at me and say “Tsk tsk.” but sometimes, I have been even been known to throw in a video while I am trying to make supper.
I am not an expert. I am just a mommy. Here are my thoughts…
Technology is advancing every day. Computers are everywhere. To be successful in the world these days, you need a working knowledge of how they are run. Teaching our children at an early age how to use this technology gives them a great jump start to something they will need in their future. Do not let your child become a slave to technology. Make sure that they are active and that the majority of their days are still filled with several different activities. As I said before, my daughter’s days are packed with various things. She has taken swim classes, music , & is about to start tumbling too.
She has a Nabi Tablet & she is registered with ABC Mouse’s Early Learning Academy. I love both of these and so does she. She does not use either of these without mommy, daddy or Nanna doing them with her. We still engage her during the lessons, by letting her point out the pictures & asking her questions. She is very proud to show us what she is learning.
If my little girl is the little sponge that everyone says that she is, why can’t she absorb her learning from every resource that she can.
I would love to hear your feedback on this.