Positive and Negative Impacts of Electronic Devices on Children
Nowadays, children as young as two play with electronic devices. These devices include video games, television, mobile and apart phone apps, computers, tables, and PSP games. Children tend to be active consumers and many electronic products are targeted to the youth market. It is also true that parents use gadgets and devices to keep their children quiet and in one place for a period of time.
Electronic devices can be useful but also have negative impact if they are over-used. Let's look at some of the pros and cons of allowing a young child to use a computer or electronic device.
Benefits of Using Devices
• For children younger than preschool age, electronic devices may help to stimulate the senses and imagination. Some use may help to promote listening ability, learning sounds, and speech.
• Electronic devices and games may encourage cognitive learning and the development of analytical skills. This may in turn help children build innovative thinking and investigation skills, strategic thinking, and creativity.
• Using computers may improve manual dexterity and build computer literacy.
• Mastering games builds confidence and develops hand-eye coordination.
• Games that encourage players to move up levels and earn high scores may help develop mathematical and engineering skills, as well as the motivation to meet goals.
Drawbacks of Using Devices
• A survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that children spend more than seven hours per day on an electronic device on average. They can use electronics, but do not know how to tie their own shoes or swim.
• It is important to children to spend some time for outdoor activity with family and friends. The times spent on the devices may curb some outdoor activities.
• When children play violent games for a long period of time, they are tends to be more aggressive. They are more prone to confront their teachers, peers, and relatives.
• Children who spend significant time on devices may have difficulty concentrating on their studies.
• Excessive computer exposure can be addictive. This can lead to a sedentary lifestyle, poor health, time management, and eating habits.
How to Manage a Child's Computer Exposure
It is impossible to completely eliminate electronic devices from a child's life, but there are ways to decrease their negative impacts.
- Know the rating of the game and television programs your child wants to use or watch.
- Do not set up electronic devices in a child's bedroom.
- Make media rules. For example, place a time limit of how often or long a child is allowed to use an electronic device, including games and television.
- Monitor your child's media consumption, including video games, television, movies, and the Internet.
- Communicate with your child about what they observe in video games, television program or movies. Ask them how they feel about the media they have access to and discuss it with them.