Children see computers all around them. As soon as they start school they will use a computer in the classroom, and many toddlers are used to using tablets from their early days. How do we decide how much technology our children should be exposed to?
Here we debate the pros and cons of computers for children.
1) Fine-tuned motor skills
Using a computer requires fine motor skills, so this is a good training ground for youngsters to develop their dexterity, hand-eye coordination and motor skills. These all help with future activities such as sport and art.
2) Teaching cause and effect
Making an action and seeing a result from that action is the basis of computer use. This is a core skill for children to learn, so the computer in its most basic form is a great tool for their development. Furthermore, there are many computer games that are child friendly and provide learning through play.
3) Educational websites
The internet has a plethora of educational websites that help children develop, whether it’s learning their alphabet or learning about different cultures and countries as they grow up. With parental supervision, the internet can broaden a child’s horizons and give them the ability to learn.
1) Limit interaction with people and the environment
Every moment of time spent on a computer is a moment away from developing social skills with other people and exploring the environment around them. The more time spent on a computer, the less a child learns about the world they inhabit, which could cause issues as they grow up.
2) Dangers of online access
Access to a computer could also mean access to the internet. Without supervision from parents, a child could access all sorts of unsavoury images and information. Restrictive child protection software is an essential bit of kit for your computer. Also try to be in the room with your child when he or she is using the PC.
3) Too much stimulation
There has been a lot research on the negative effects of computer games on children, from over-stimulation to exposing violence to eyes that are too young to understand it. Children are like sponges – everything they see is absorbed into their minds. The sounds, flashing lights and moving images on computer games can be more harmful than good.
4) Too much sedentary time
A child’s metabolism requires physical activity to develop and remain strong for future life. Although the computer is mentally stimulating, it does not stimulate the body. Make sure your child’s day also includes plenty of physical play to build strong bones, muscles and good habits.
If you are looking to reduce your children’s time on the computer, why not trade in any unwanted computer games and build a little nest egg for your children at the same time.