Young people using and engaged in technology has reached an all-time high and the age in which they start engaging with technology is at an all-time low, or should we say young. Children 2 and older are getting exposed to technology – smartphones, iPads and APPS on a daily basis. In today’s world, technology is everywhere. For some parents, they feel technology is harming kids but in actuality, technology just might be good for them. The American Psychological Association has reported that technology may actually help them with overall mental, social and physical wellbeing. And, a recent Oxford University study finds that children who play computer or video games for up to an hour daily are the most sociable, happy and least hyperactive.
4 ways technology could be supporting your child’s growth:
- Social Development: Researchers (Heft & Swaminathan, 2002; Shahrimin & Butterworth, 2003) suggest that computers may increase the amount of communication and positive interaction between children. Children engage in diverse social interactions when using the computer including asking for help, directing others’ actions, providing information, assistance, and instruction, acknowledging each other, commenting on each other’s actions, and even disagreeing. This type of engagement with others through technology supports social development within a child.
- Brain Development: Technology is changing the way kids think. Video games and other screen media improve visual-spatial capabilities, increase attentional ability, reaction times, and the capacity to identify details among clutter (Psychology Today, 2014)
- Coordination: When your kid is immersed in a game, you might get frustrated and think they’re spending too much time on the computer. But in actuality, he or she practicing some very complex — and necessary — skills. In a handful of experiments comparing gamers to non-gamers, a study by Michigan State University found that frequent players have sharper vision and faster reaction times and that they’re better at multitasking and less easily distracted.
- Language Development: Yep, there’s an APP for that. There are many useful applications that parents can install on their phone and tablet to help improve a child’s language abilities. There are APPs to help with vocabulary expansion, storytelling, learning to read, spelling and grammar.
Technology is here to stay. How you use it in your household and with your children will depend on you. Like with anything, it’s all about moderation.