Have you ever been amazed by the sight of a two-year old using an iPad with all the ease of a grown up? Believe it or not, this is the reality that many parents are discovering as they raise their babies in a today’s hi-tech environment—that babies take to technology like ducks to water.
Is it a good thing though? Some parents may worry that such gadgets may overstimulate a child and cause addiction, and so they deliberately keep their baby away from computers, tablets and smart devices. Others, on the other hand, embrace the technology as they feel it gives their babies a headstart.
The iPad and baby generation
Whatever you might feel about technology, there’s no stopping the tide though. Your baby, together with his or her generation, will grow up as digital natives. Growing up with technology comes with certain advantages for the iPad and baby generation, but can come with certain traits that may not be so positive too. According to famous American child psychologist, David Elkind, children of the digital age will face different challenges from our generation.
The iPad and baby generation: Speed culture
According to Elkind, the culture of the iPad baby is going to be dominated by speed. The internet gets faster and faster all the time, and so do our gadgets. While we used to patiently wait for hours to download and install a video game, the next generation will become impatient if it takes more than seconds. It will be an uphill task for parents to train their babies to be patient.
Another effect of this speed-obsessed culture is that it is stressful. Because there is no downtime for resting, children are forced to be productive all the time. Today’s children sleep less, have less energy and play less outdoors. Elkind warns against this as children need plenty of free imaginative play for optimal brain development. As parents, think twice before you fill up your baby’s time table with enrichment classes.
The iPad and baby generation: Communication
Find out if it’s a real danger to our kids on the next page…