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  1. #1

    Effects of technology on kids.

    Hi everyone,

    I'm wondering about this question for quite sometimes now. My husband installed games(not violent ones) and educational applications on his iPad, then we just let our daughter play with it whenever she wants. My question is, Am I exposing my 3 yr old kid too early on such gadget?

    What are the positive / negative effects this may cause on her?

    Alma

  2. #2
    My experience with educational applications on the iPad and iPod for children is that they do learn, but these things also start to give them an appetite for wanting to be entertained by things that are constantly moving, constantly stimulating the brain with new images which could be cause for concern.

    My husband shared something with our family the other day, that I found fascinating. He told us that the average person sees as many images in one day, as people saw in their entire lifetime only 100 years ago.

    When I think about this, I think of families that didn't have TV, didn't have movie theatres, didn't have iPods, iPads or computers. So what did they do to keep themselves entertained? Well... they read books! They also did a lot more work around the house, with farming, chopping wood, keeping a fire in the wood stove, cooking, cleaning, etc. So there probably wasn't too much time for relaxing and playing games all day (even for the young children).

    When you start to give your child an appetite for games and movies and a desire to be entertained by colorful, flashy, moving objects, it can become addictive. How many adults do we know who are addicted to the internet or online games? And we didn't grow up with an iPad in our hands at 3 years of age (though I know plenty of children now who are).

    With our oldest 2 children, they had very limited computer games when they were 5 and older. Those children read LOTS of books and they would go for long car rides without ever making much noise because... they were reading. They loved to read, and they still do.

    My 3rd child was introduced to games on the computer around 5, but he was allowed to play more games and watch more TV. We mostly only have educational programs for the children to watch, and they don't get to watch any TV that comes right over the air waves (it's all prerecorded with commercials removed).

    He loves to read, but he is much more interested in what's on the TV and computer games than the first two.

    And then there are the youngest two who are now 7 and 10 years of age. They don't read as much as the first two do because my husband introduced them to the iPod and iPad games. They are only educational games that they play (i.e. Words with Friends and Hanging with Friends - playing with Grandma and each other) but it still stimulates the brain in a way that makes it more interesting for them than picking up a book that just has black text on white paper.

    So I'd just warn you to be careful about how much time you allow her to play. Start with making it a treat so she's maybe only allowed to play for 15 minutes twice a week. Anytime you start to see her become more demanding for it or show a poor attitude when you say "time's up" then you'll know it could be becoming a problem.

    But spend lots of time reading to your daughter, baking cookies in the kitchen, taking walks and interacting together. Do a search for other posts written about how to limit TV time if you feel she's spending too much time in front of the TV.

    You are wise to consider the effects of all of the multi-media bombardment on your 3 year old at this young age.

    Warm regards,

    Kate

  3. #3
    Hi Kate,

    Yikes! Now I'Ll be scared to just let her play the iPad nor her dadas phone or let her watch the tv the whole day just to get the house chores done. Will really follow your advice on kids activities that I also posted.

    Thank you Kate on this!

    Always looking forward on your reply,

    Alma

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