How Young Is Too Young For Tech?



Marjorie Amaral, Editor

Not long ago, many parents wondered at what age they should give their child full access to the car keys, now a days in my opinion the main question they ask themselves is when should I give my child an IPhone/iPad?

In today’s world is difficult to stay away from technology since there’s tech everywhere we look. The pace at which smartphones have become established is remarkable, they are now as integrated into modern culture as cars or computers.

According to scientists, children and teens use four to five times the recommended amount of technology, which sometimes leads to serious and often life threatening consequences.

Did you know that in tablet-owning households, seven out of 10 parents let their kids play with their tablets? And because of this, a team of researchers at University of Iowa have also discovered that by age two, 90 percent of modern children know how to fully work an IPhone/IPad.

If you go to a mall, the park, zoos, or even playgrounds nowadays, you’ll notice that kids of America and the world are staring down at the glowing screens of tablets and smartphones.

Parents give children phones or tablets without knowing the risks of giving children too much technology.

#1: it can change the child/parent relationship – according to pediatrics between the ages of 0 and 2 years, a child’s brain triples in size. A parent’s touch, voice and time they spend together can help build pathways in their brain that aid them in learning how to bond emotionally with others.

But for children who spend too much time interacting with a screen, neural pathways change and different ones are created, it affects concentration, self-esteem, and in many cases parents and their child don’t have a deeply personal relationship.

#2: It is a child’s first ‘addiction’ – One wonderful thing about technology is that there’s always something new you can do or watch it’s basically infinite. And for that very reason, it’s very hard to give up and stop using them.

Smart phones and tablets allow kids to get whatever they want at the click of a button. It does not teach them moderation or how to challenge themselves, which are traits of an addictive personality.

#3: It sparks tantrums – if someone has an addiction, they will throw a fit if you take what they’re obsessed with away, at any age.

However, giving a child a smartphone or tablet to pacify them when they are having a tantrum isn’t a great idea.

I can say that from experience, for example my nephew just turned 2, every time we go to a restaurant if his mom takes away his tablet he throws a show, which is uncontrollable and that’s why in many cases parents give their children tablets so they can stop with the tantrum.

#5: It affects their ability to learn – According to researchers, a smartphone is harmful to a child’s ability to learn because it distracts their attention and they don’t get enough sleep since they stay up so late with their devices.

The light that emits from a screen suppresses the sleep hormone melatonin, and shifts the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle.

It is estimated that 60 percent of parents do not supervise their child’s technology usage; 75 percent of children are allowed technology in their bedrooms. Because of this, 75 percent of children aged 9 and 10 years are sleep deprived to the extent that their grades go down, according to the Huffington Post.

The use of technology has drastically increased throughout the years but for future generations of children, parents should start allowing their kids to use technology at the age of 7 due to the fact that they have a deeper connection with their kids.