How to navigate todays technology while raising your child?
Updated: Sep 28, 2019
While technology in many ways aids us in transforming our society into the modern glory that it is, how do we navigate raising our children in its wake?
Developmentally, children do better when they have constant stimulation from relationships as well as interaction with the world around them. Often times, babies and young children are given a screen--be it a smart phone or T.V.--- to keep them occupied and/or to buy parents precious time to themselves. OR parents are physically present but otherwise preoccupied on social media--where they are not able to engage with their little one.
We are not condemning these parents, it is the world we live in. That half hour T.V. show may buy a mother the time she needs to rest, and feel like herself again so that she can be more present with her little one. OR that game your baby is playing may help them learn with shapes, colors, or even language. We have the world at our fingertips and that can be thought of as a blessing. One that can be used to aid in raising a child; however, if overused, may cause harm.
As a parent, you are not wrong to give your child so called 'screen time'. They may benefit from this in the future, either through the education they received from it or the knowledge of technology they will have. Many children may grow up to have interests in computer science or other fields we may not even know of yet. However, we would caution new parents to be aware of how much quality time they spend with their little one vs a screen.
Many children who did not have enough one-on-one time during their developmental stages have been seen to have more issues socially (in the future). This could be due to a number of reasons, not just technology--- however, too much technology certainly does not help.
Too often, parents are wrapped up in their own lives on the internet-- that they are unable to give important one-on-one time with their infant. The learning that comes from direct relationships and either navigating them themselves or watching someone else do so cannot be replaced through technology. Your child needs to see how you interact with them as well as others... they need to feel the presence of your love and embrace, so that they feel safe and secure. Unfortunately, children that feel neglected often show behavioral problems --- usually searching for attention.
It is recommended by the World Health Organization that children ages 2-4 have no more than 1 hour of screen time per day, and those younger should not have any. This does not mean that you cannot engage your child with other toys such as puzzles, games, blocks, etc. These activities will occupy your child enough to help give you some time to take care of YOUR needs, while adding to their development.
Also it is important to not forget that as long as you show your child love and give yourself grace in the meantime, you are giving your little one more than they could ever ask for. Keep on being the best you mamas. Check out our website to find out more of what we can do for you!
Until next time!
Mikayla and Cassie
Mamas Maternal Health Registered Dietitians/Lactation Counselors
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