How using gadgets have affected my son’s development
Ren was just around 3 years old when he started playing with his dad’s iPod touch.
I admit we are one of the guilty parents for introducing our son to gadgets at an early age. But we think that by doing that, it had a positive impact on his reading skills because he learned to read at an early age (even ahead with other kids his age), but the negative impact was that he struggles with communicating with other people.
When the iPod touch got broken, he had no choice but to became aware of his surroundings which helped him to be more talkative and learned how to interact (he is learning this slowly, but we believe that he will get there soon).
I have read somewhere that children should not use any gadgets as early as 2 years old, because it might cause attention deficit disorder. Well I can’t go back time and yes I think somehow the gadgets have affected my son’s language development.
Now that he is already in preschool, my main concern is when he is using the computer. We let him use the computer as a reward for doing a good job at school or when I need to do something important and need not to be disturbed. The computer helps me keep him stay and occupied for a few hours. What he usually do in front of the computer is watch cartoon series or movies that we have.
I remembered a few months ago, I heard him saying the sh*t word. I was shocked where he heard it. It might be on a video clip he was watching online.
I know he doesn’t know what it means and I think he just repeated what he heard. I told him that it is a bad word and he should not say it again. But from then on, I monitored the things that he can do while in front of the computer.
Yes, Noel and I are work-at-home parents but we admit that we still can’t monitor the activities of my son every now and then. So, what more if the parents are working in the office and the kids are just left with their yayas or other people, how can they make sure that the kids are safe in using the internet?
Thanks to Green Cross Mommy Pros, they have posted an article about some controls that we parents can put on our computers and gadgets to help restrict the kinds of content our kids can access.
Here are some of their suggestions:
DESKTOP/PCs -Norton and Windows both have parental control systems which can let you set times when your kids are allowed to use the computer and block access to sites by type (crime, pornography, drugs, mature content) and even social networking sites.
- For Android, K9 Web Protection Browser is free for download. It has preset filters based on age group.
- On the other hand, a paid app like McAfee Family Protection blocks websites up to 35 categories.
- A top paid parental control software for iOS is AVG Family Safety. It can block a wide array of inappropriate content and malware. It also goes a step further by letting you monitor your child’s browsing behavior.
I can’t blame parents for letting kids use their gadgets. For us, it is one of our reinforcement for Ren to be motivated to do what is being asked. His dad was also like that when he was at his age. Also besides reading books, gadgets is one of the things he uses to keep him busy or occupied for a few hours while we do some important things.
What I suggest is to just limit their usage of these gadgets. Remember that too much of anything can be harmful, the key is balance.
How about you, did you ever experienced the same thing with your kids?