Trends Tuesday: How Young is too Young for Children to Start Using Tablets?
I have to admit, as a mom of two young children I often feel guilty for handing my kids the iPad so I can unload the dishwasher or respond to a few e-mails. Turns out I might be making them smarter!
According to this recent study featured on The Today Show from the University of London, tablets should be a part of a baby’s world from birth. The study claims that babies and young toddlers learn numbers faster when interacting with the screen.
These findings are contradictory to what the American Academy of Pediatrics has been telling us, which is no “screen time” for children under two. (But honestly, don’t we all we fib on the well visit form when asked how much screen time?)
As a PR person and certified Apple junkie, my MacBook, iPad and iPhone are a part of my daily life. My children see me using them and, naturally, want to use them, too. While I do set limits, I think there are benefits to introducing them to technology early. I have researched and downloaded several learning based apps, and I am convinced that it was Elmo who taught my son his ABC’s, not me.
The reality is that these devices and other technology will always be a part of this next generation’s daily life. They will be expected to use them early on, possibly as early as elementary school, and isn’t it our job as parents to be preparing our children for the real world?
While I can’t say I agree with ditching books in favor of the iPad, or introducing babies to them before they can hold their heads up, this study certainly creates a debate around the possible benefits of exposure to these devices at a young age.
Tell us what you think…should babies be using tablets?