Before technology became such a huge presence in our lives, babies used to play have no choice but to play with simple things like toys. These days, a very high percentage of them are given pieces of advanced technology, such as iPads, to play with. Many babies master the basics of iPads thanks to repeated use before they learn to talk – is this right?
Yes – iPads help them learn
Technology plays a huge role in many aspects of our lives. We have computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, smart TVs…the list goes on and it’s only going to get longer. There are all sorts of baby-friendly games and apps that can help them learn and develop important skills, such as speaking, reading and coordination. Most babies born today will go on to use a lot of technology in their lives and in a way it makes sense for them to be exposed to technology at a young age. Of course there have to be restrictions: parents need to regulate what their babies can access and they need to ensure their babies still get enough real-world interaction. If parents are able to restrict access in this way, surely there’s no harm in giving babies iPads? Surely it’s just a good way for babies to develop skills and get used to something that will very likely play a large part in their lives?
No – babies need to interact with the real world, not with screens
Many of us have fallen into the trap of spending a significant number of hours per day staring at screens, though we do still spend time interacting with the real world, of course. It’s important for babies’ development that they learn as much about the world around them as they can. The more time they spend glued to an iPad screen, the less time they spend getting to know the world they actually live in. The real world is far more important than the virtual one and will always be the more important of the two. Rather than trying to get babies to spend as much time in the virtual world as we do, babies shouldn’t be given iPads so they have the chance to fully immerse themselves in the real world. They probably will become used to technology at some point, but why force technology on them when they’re so young? Get them to experience life without technology while they can.
What do you think?
So what do you think? Are iPads good for babies or should parents wait a few years (or even longer) before introducing technology to their children? Is it lazy parenting to let babies spend ages glued to screens, or is it getting them used to the way we use technology these days?