There’s considerable debate regarding the actual effects of technology on child development and development. Some regard technology as enhancing child development, helping children grow up more quickly and smoothly. Others fret that technology might actually impair brain function. Still others believe technology has no significant effect on child development or developmentally.
How do these differing views about technology relate to childhood development? Many parents, experts and researchers argue that technology really doesn’t help or hinder childhood development or developmentally at business. Parents and experts differ on whether there are certain technological devices that aid in aiding or hinder childhood development or developmentally. Some of these devices and gadgets include electronic toys such as dolls and interactive games like video games. Other technological devices and toys include televisions, radio, Internet access, and video games.
When children are young, much of their growth and development is through social skills and interacting with others. Children who grow up with technologically enhanced family and friends typically perform better in school and develop more professionally, have greater self-esteem, and achieve greater success in life. But, technology exposure during childhood can hinder these growth factors.
When children are young, it is difficult for them to understand, comprehend, and differentiate between different kinds of technology. For instance, when a child experiences only visual and auditory human interaction, it’s hard for them to differentiate between text messaging, instant messaging, and internet browsing. These kinds of interactions don’t promote self-awareness, development of social interaction skills, or reflective thinking. What they do learn is to copy what they see or read or engage in shallow human interaction. Children need more than just visual and auditory experience in order to make true communication and socialization possible.
As the child grows and engages in different forms of human interaction, he or she will develop self-awareness, self-discipline, self-motivation, and healthy social development. Children who live under the influence of technology at an early age are not only missing out on real human interaction, but also missing out on the many opportunities for lifelong learning and education that technology offers. Without such development, children may never realize their full potential and may even have negative self-image and social skills as a result.
One of the biggest challenges for children who live in the digital age is how to make real life decisions and meet social and educational needs as a parent and/or student. A good way to encourage positive development is to allow your child to use technologies that promote critical thinking and problem solving skills. The Internet, for example, is a powerful platform that allows parents and students to exchange ideas, develop collaborative problem solving skills, and learn about real life experiences. This type of real life experience is important for children’s emotional development and socialization.
In addition, technology may be causing some difficulties for children who are shy or who are lacking in social skills. One way to overcome these challenges is for parents and educators to take an active role in promoting your child’s use of the Internet and other interactive platforms. Encourage your child to chat with his or her peers, participate in online discussions, and to create online friendships.
Finally, technology can have an impact on childhood development due to the way it limits creativity and imagination. Playing video games and using consoles may be fun, but they limit a child’s creativity because the games require repetitive action and interaction. Another cause for limiting creativity may come from the fact that most children become bored after a few minutes of playing video games and consoles. A great way to remedy this problem is to allow your child to use imagination and creativity through various forms of imaginative play.
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