It’s increasingly common to see children spending time with a cell phone that they could use for other purposes. Therefore, parents should establish clear limits.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (APP) makes the following recommendations:
Less than 2 years:
At this age, children explore everything around them. Their minds learn from their interaction and contact with their parents. Therefore, the use of tablets and cell phones must have strict limits and one parent should always be around to interact together with their children with the various apps and videogame available.
Children of 2 or more years old already understand words better and they can listen and participate in adult conversations. Mobile devices should be used for a maximum of one hour. Choose interactive, non-violent and educational games that allow children to learn and have fun.
Using computers, smartphones, or mobile devices longer than the recommended limit involves some risks: children will sleep less or they will be overstimulated. Some consequences include:
Bad behavior: Children may be scared or confused by the content they consume. At some point, they may even try to imitate their favorite characters.
Delayed socialization: As children have less interaction with their brothers and parents, their relationship skills also diminish, which prevents the establishment of immediate coexistence bonds.
SOURCES: National Library of Medicine (USA); and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
What to Look for in Apps that Claim to Boost Your Children’s Development?
Family activities have been increasingly monopolized by technology. Even children already have a natural access to augmented reality and technology as a whole. Although much has been written about the advantages and disadvantages of using technology, there are options that allow using devices with a positive impact.
According to experts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the ‘secret’ of learning lays in the kind of experiences that children get through technology and they can have access to those experiences from apps in mobile devices.
Apps are a type of software that is installed in smartphones or tablets and which can use the equipment’s features (such as the camera or GPS) to solve problems.
There is an increasing number of educational apps focused on e-learning (learning online), known as mobile learning. These tools enable personalized learning and encourage interaction with other family members. These guidelines will help you to choose the best app to download:
- They should include logic and reasoning games. Without involving number-related skills, these apps can be the first step in the development of certain concepts (such as grouping objects).
- They should help memory. They include color or object identification objectives, interactive memory games or animal identification games.
- They should strengthen language. Download apps that include age-appropriate songs or stories. Interact with your children as they repeat words and they increase their vocabulary.
- They should teach a language. Apps can be a path to learning another language. The use of mobile devices allows children to start learning basic vocabulary.
SOURCES: Massachussets Institute of Technology (MIT), 14 Estudio sobre los Hábitos de los Usuarios de Internet en México 2018 of Asociación de Internet en México.