Last week while eating at a restaurant I was rudely interrupted by the sounds of a screaming child. It didn’t bother me that much. After all, children sometimes scream over stupid things that parents have no control over.
It’s what the parents did next that bothered me. They sat their screaming child in front of a crusty iPad playing bright colors and loud music. The kid stopped fussing, but something about that troubled me. The whole idea of it just felt dystopian.
Nowadays you can’t go into any public space without seeing some seven-year-old kid with Cheeto dust all over their face holding one of those iPad cases with a handle on it. It’s become such a frequent occurrence there is a name for them used commonly on the internet “iPad kids.”
I can totally understand the need to distract your children, and raising children is challenging. But iPads and other forms of technology-based sensory distractions only damage the child’s development and will impact that child’s psychology for the rest of their lives. A study from the Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health said screen time was “the heroin of this generation.”
Would you give heroin to a seven year old?
Let’s face it, we are all addicted to technology, but the ones that will be impacted the most by these addictions are the youngest among us.
iPads and iPhones are a great tool for airplanes and long car rides. It’s the constant use enabled by parents that don’t have the time or energy to entertain their children that damages children. These technologies offer great upsides that many of us can’t live without, but small children do not need these. Besides, I have never seen a kid using an iPad for constructive purposes.
There is a reason Baby Shark has over 12 billion views.
With the constant option of plopping your child in front of a screen anywhere you go, kids never have to be bored.
Children today in preschool and elementary school are having trouble socializing with their peers. Most professionals agree that this disconnect can be attributed to the fact that most kids’ dopamine comes from a screen.
When children are bored, they are forced to do something new, meet a new person, push themselves out of their comfort zone. But with the constant option of plopping your child in front of a screen anywhere you go, kids never have to be bored.
The modern phenomenon of the “iPad kid” is almost brand new. We still don’t know the effects of high technology doses on adolescents, let alone small children. Every parent should know the dangers of technology based stimulation and how they can affect their children in the future.
Next time your kid is fussing, just give them a coloring book.