By Farheen Naaz
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We all are well aware of the fact that today’s world runs on gadgets and it is hard to escape from the clutches of such tools. Parenting today has gone to another level with all these readily available devices. They give parents an easy way out to entertain the curious minds of their children. Enough has been said about kids misusing technology and the need for parents to keep track of their children’s online activities. Today, let us discuss the repercussions of giving gadgets to toddlers.
Apart from being handy and readily available at any time of the day, gadgets are also easily accessible and take up less space. A child is crying or misbehaving? Hand him a gadget and shut him up! It is as easy as that. Often we fail to think about the long-term effects of this action.
Toddlers learn from what they see. Once learning takes place for a toddler, it stays on his mind and goes a long way in shaping his personality. Therefore, it is essential for us, as parents and elders, or as people who take care of children, to ensure that we set the right examples for them.
Yes, of course gadgets are a great source of learning for children. There are a wide variety of applications and games that can help your toddler learn his alphabets, rhymes, or numbers. As an elder, it is your duty to select the right kind of application for your child. Another great way of ensuring that gadgets are not spoiling your little one is to set time limits for usage. Set aside a specific time of the day when the device is to be used. Furthermore, do not use any gadget whatsoever as a bait for your child when he is misbehaving. A gadget can be as harmful for a kid as it can be beneficial. Toddlers might get addicted to a gadget more easily than children of any other age group, as they might feel that it is something that they get if they cry or throw a tantrum. They might not realize exactly why you are giving them the gadget when they cry.
The majority of today’s technological devices come with a number of features that an owner might not even realize exist because there is no need for their usage. But, one cannot escape those extra, unwanted features and are forced to put up with them and ignore them while using the other features. As adults it is easy for us to do so, but for kids it is easy to explore and use things that they should not be using.
Kids these days are not experiencing the joy of playing outside. This is mostly due to the parenting style of today – parents get paranoid if their kid gets dirty in the mud or run behind a kitten, puppy, or even a butterfly. We need to realize that we, as little kids, played outside all day long, in the mud, in the park, in the lanes, but still no germs were strong enough to ruin our adulthood for us. A benefit of playing outside in the roughs is a strong immune system, which is fast waning these days.
All the senses of a child need to be developed as a whole and being exposed to music, gadgets, cartoons etc. all day long will not give them that needed development. Yes, it is necessary to be aware of our surroundings and the advancements in technology and teach them to our kids, but the right time is to be decided based on our parenting efficiencies. Think twice the next time you hand your smart phone to your kid. :)
In the next part of this article we shall look at some options to spend quality time with children without using gadgets.