Stacking Cups Vs. Electronics
Imagine that you are in line to buy a cup of java. (For many sleep-deprived parents, this doesn't take much “imagining.”) You have your little one along for the ride, saddled on your hip. You are impatient. Your little one is even less patient. The line is long. Slow. You really want – okay NEED – this cup of coffee. You're starting to wonder who will lose it first, you or our little one.
Solution! You pull out our your smartphone, or other electronic gadget of your choice, and you hand it to your wee one. Or do you?
Recent research confirmed that one in four toddlers have used a smartphone. Is your kiddo one of them? I admit it, mine is. I've been in that coffee line and admit that an app or two has made that line seem a little shorter.
Will using your smartphone affect your little one's brain? Research has already confirmed the effects of television: The American Academy of Pediatrics has long advocated for no screen time for children under the age of two years (yes, even “educational” DVDs). “Studies suggest TV viewing may actually be harmful to those under two — even when the set is on in the background.”
And what about those smartphones? In reality, they are too new to have the research needed to conclude their effects. Though the research doesn't specifically confirm it, early childhood experts express concern over electronic interactions versus those of parent/adult to child interactions. Important skill-building such as language skills and social-emotional interactions are best formed by human to human (vs. human to electronic) interactions. Best bets for building development in your little one? The simplicty of stacking cups and books are still best for babies and toddlers.
Will this information stop you from handing your wee one your smartphone?
I admit it, I have good intentions, but sometimes that coffee line is just a little too long.