Stop using gadgets to babysit kids!

It is too easy, isn’t it? A tablet offers a young child loads of entertainment and at the touch of a button, but have you considered your child’s development? 

It is too easy, isn’t it? A tablet offers a young child loads of entertainment and at the touch of a button, but have you considered your child’s development? Babies need to play and learn but not through tablet time and it is advised that babies and tots are not given any sort of technology device until they are at least 18 months old - if not more. It is not that anyone should be anti-technology, but young kids should be able to talk first before handling devices that may hinder their development. 
Travel, boredom and family events or occasions are usually the times when parents turn to tablets, phones or game consoles to keep the kids amused while they take some well-earned rest. It is acceptable to give your child these devices for a short period of time but sometimes, time flies by and your nipper can be using tech devices for a significant amount of time. It is said that more children are starting school with serious speech problems because parents are relying on smartphones and tablets as babysitting methods and therefore, youngsters are becoming addicted and withdrawn. 
As technology advances at a rapid pace, kids are becoming more and more aware of the beauty of devices and some kids are reported to being able to use these devices before they can even walk or talk. The worrying part of this is kids begin to rely upon devices for entertainment and never feel the need to learn socialising or language skills. However, they can fly through a computer game, tapping on buttons at electrifying speed and decline phone calls on your phone while they play games and apps. If allowed, kids become dependent on devices and this will become more popular then them having to exercise or play outside. 
Parents are teaching their kids reliance on devices and how to remain engaged with objects that are interactive instead of normal and traditional toys. There are so many other opportunities and things that can keep your kiddies busy. Not everything must be technology related and running around, playing and socialising are vitally important to your kids for their future well-being. You would only have to look around at restaurants to see that most families are staring into devices – not just kids but parents too and this shouldn’t be the case. While a little tab time while eating is ok, spending the entire meal with your child online is not. No matter what age your kiddie is. Family time should be exactly that; family time. 
Children should be encouraged to read, play and explore while out or at home. At home especially, why is there a need to have the TV on all day? Can you not leave your youngster to play for certain times of day to play alone and discover things themselves? No one is saying ban the TV or all devices but be more mindful of the amount of time your child spends watching them and turn them off for your kiddies’ sake. Once they become accustomed to devices you will find your kid will need a constant distraction in everything they do including sleeping and that’s tough!
We are adding to the problem by handing devices over and letting them babysit kids when all we need to do is let them be kids – like we once were! 
Written by Emma Hayes staff writer at Family Friendly HQ.

Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

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