Remember all that talk about computer screens and kids turning into zombies and the world ending? Well, it turns out that parents of Generation Z babies can relax — the effects of screen time on children is much less damning than previously thought. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it's time to re-think some of our earlier reservations regarding the usage of technology especially for children under the age of two.
Now, the AAP isn't saying necessarily saying that you should buy your baby a tablet instead of say, a block set or plush toy, but what they are saying is that we have to come to terms with the fact that technology is in the blood of this generation of children. It's going to be a consistent and necessary aspect of their involvement in the world and that in an unavoidable fact.
Did you know that there are now coding programs for kids in elementary school? And some music theory classes are taught entirely on computers using composing software? Nearly every school that can achieve the funding to incorporate technology into their classroom, choses to. So to keep kids away from it at home, isn't doing them any favors. Which is exactly why the AAP wants to publicize their updated insights regarding the effects of technology on young children. They want to drive the point home that screen time isn't evil. Yes, it should be monitored and should only be permitted in moderation, but it shouldn't be condemned.
Studies show that two-way interactive learning is helpful for young children and there's no significant difference in results achieved from the interaction provided by a touch screen and by a live human. Interaction is interaction. But again, the AAP is not encouraging parents to prop their babies up with an screen and leave them alone — they're suggesting that parents include some screen time into their preexisting one-on-one time to amplify the experience.
As with anything, moderation and supervision are key. There are plenty of standing negative side effects that children can also obtain from the overuse of technology: like sleep complications, ocular issues, and mood imbalances, and more. So don't be the leader in a societal game of telephone by spreading over-simplified information. It only takes a few people to say that computer screens are beneficial to babies before stories start popping up on our newsfeeds about how the next generation of children are bionic, eat Wifi for breakfast, and can only recharge under the soft pale glow of a computer screen.
The TL;DR is that screen time in moderation is not only less harmful for young children than we previously thought, but can also help prepare them for an unavoidable future of technological dependence and comprehension.
Images: Fotolia; Giphy