How do iPads affect your child's development? 

children iPad development

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Parents, look back at your childhood. Try to recall how life was before you reached the age of 10.  We all have unique memories and feelings regarding our growing up. There is, however, something that surely doesn’t come to mind – iPads and other electronic devices.   But let’s face it, they have become a part of our lives, whether we like it or not. But, just because times have changed, this doesn’t mean that we have changed as a species. Our biology is still the same, and kids today also need a healthy environment for growing up. Healthy means plenty of sun, physical activity and socialization. An increasing number of  research studies suggest that the most important period of life is from birth until the age of six – that is when the foundation for future development is set. 

So how do iPads fit in this picture?  

Negative Effects  

Speech development  

Perhaps you have noticed that a significant number of youngsters suffer from learning difficulties and difficulties focusing. This may be a linked to an excessive use of smartphones and tablets. According to the scientists from the University of Toronto and The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, 30 minutes in front of the screen increases the risk of delayed speech by 49%.  

Brain development  

Sleep is very important, especially in infants and children. It is believed that the blue screen light disturbs the natural body clock, so the circadian rhythm is disrupted. Every hour of blue light steals 16 minutes of sleep.  

Social development   

Certain research revealed that children who use tablets or computers every day have difficulties in adapting to their social environment and are more likely to have social problems.   

Poor Academic Performance   

Besides the obvious time consummation, the Internet also presents the children with violence and other disturbing images. This content may reflect on poor school performance and academic success.  

Positive Effects   

Like in most cases, there is another side of the story. Many renowned experts in the field of medicine and child development, state that the use of iPads may actually be beneficial.   

Expressing Ideas  

For children who are having difficulties in expressing their ideas with words, technology can be a great tool.   

Developing coordination  

Hand-eye coordination is very important for the strengthening of brain synapses. Games can sometimes be much more than plain fun. Some require strategic planning and excellent reflexes, which certainly benefits the child’s development.  

Making learning fun   

Of course learning can be fun in a simple classroom, but the fact is that children are attracted to smart technology like a moth to a flame. The use of iPads in education is already implemented in many preschools and kindergartens. The teachers say it is an excellent approach in learning enhancement.   

How to Use an iPad correctly?  

If you want to harvest only the positive sides of iPads, you have to be responsible to your child and the time he/she spends in front of the  screen. There is still plenty of research to be done in order to fully understand exactly how much time should a toddler or preschooler should use a tablet. Some recommend that you add a half hour per year of the child, until reaching maximum 2-2.5 hours.   Of course, these are just recommendations. The most important thing is to listen to your child and notice any behavioral changes. iPads are clearly great devices, but also hide many risks. Set up some ground rules and make sure you set a good example to your child.