TECHNOLOGY AND THE TODDLER
By Edlira Vula Cana
In the world today most toddlers spend more time on technology instead of playing outside and doing different activities to keep them fit, and to not become passive from an early age. As a mother I like to do more activities with my son outdoors, indoors and also teach him more about real life rather than a life with technology only. I like to take my son to the park to let him climb, slide, run after the birds and see the big smile on his face. These are the things that will help children be fitter, happy and lose a lot of the negativity energy.
I also like to play soccer outside with my son. I made up two goals in my back yard and he loves it when he scores a goal. I see the will he has for soccer and I believe that makes children enjoy sports. As he grows up to be more involved playing the sport he likes instead of the soccer game on the screen where he will become more passive and not fit. Also research that I have found show that games online may cause stress and sleeping disorders.
For indoor activities I like to take some blocks and let him build something he will enjoy and explore – something new. I also like to sing with my son at all times, and to read to him in our language that is Albanian. That way he will remember and also understand when his grandpa and grandma talk to him. While playing the animal games, car games, and colouring there is a lot of learning that you can teach your child, for example; the name of the animals, colours, and the non violent things they see on screen – fighting toys, crashing cars, etc.
The kids that do more activities away from the world of technology have better social skills, are more friendly, are willing to try new things in life and have more self esteem. Do not forget always to tell your child how proud you are after doing something he loves. That will increase their self esteem and will make your child believe they can do it. We have to remember that they are young and can not do the things the way we want them to do to make him feel great, so he is willing to learn more new things and not be afraid to know they can do better. In an age where tablets, smartphones and laptops are an integral part of our daily lives and aid our children’s ongoing learning and development, the research reveals that the children that use technology more then recommended are actually lacking key life skills.
Dr Rob Hogan, a registered optometrist and council member of the general optical council explains that at the age of two, although a child’s eyesight is in fact developed enough to use the devices, sessions must be short and supervised to avoid long term damage. He also states the importance of limiting access just before bedtime, as research has found that the ‘blue-ish’ light emitted from these devices may disrupt normal sleep patterns and can be damaging to eyesight, potentially causing vision to deteriorate over time.
It was found that one in three children aged two to four own a tablet and spends on average more than five hours using digital devices per day. I believe that outside games and activities are more important to the toddler than the technology. Show love to your kids and show them more in this life other than just technology, that way your kids will be more healthy, fit and explore more in real life than just the screen.