Contrary to popular belief, early exposure to technology doesn’t make kids smarter.
In fact, it appears that it sets them up for failure later in life.
With millions of children stuck at home during the coronavirus outbreak, digital learning has become the new normal. Although televisions and mobile devices might help students pass the time off from class, new research says parents should be keeping screens away from their toddlers.
According to researchers at the University of California, Davis, children who are exposed to screen media at an early age have a harder time controlling their behavior. Amanda C. Lawrence, the study’s lead author, says using screen media devices too early results in a lower ability to self-regulate.
More than 50 children, between 32 and 47 months-old, were observed during the two-and-a-half-year study. Preschoolers who started using devices early on struggled with the skills needed to plan and monitor their thoughts and feelings. The researchers add self-regulating skills can predict academic success, physical and mental health, and even in criminal behavior later in life.
Lawrence says mobile devices are especially problematic because they interfere with a child’s ability to develop socially outside of the home.
The study also found that a family’s race and income did not affect the results, but children from wealthier families were more likely to start using media devices at a younger age.
Using mobile devices tends to stunt the social, emotional and psychological development of older kids and teenagers as well.
New generations have a harder time interacting face to face, and often run into problems when trying to have conversations that aren’t shielded by screens.
One can only imagine the true extent of exposing little kids to these brain-rewiring devices full of apps and games that are specifically designed to have an addicting effect.