Screens are everywhere in this day and age. Mobile devices are crucial for working people, televisions are a major source of information and entertainment, and entire industries have been founded upon the world’s use of screens. Screens are so pervasive, but are they a good influence for a child’s development?
Let’s take a look at the greater discussion on the use of screens in early childhood.
The physical effects of screens
Research has shown that children spend an average of 7 hours a day looking at screens; basically, a third of each day is spent looking at bright lights behind glass panes. Because of how much time children watch screens, they must have an effect of some kind on children, right?
In fact, they do. For starters, screens tend to adjust our body and mind’s daily rhythm. Screens are bright, and that light goes through our eyes to the pituitary gland of the brain (that’s the part that affects our mood and alertness based on how much light the eyes receive).
As a result, the the body can be regularly tricked into staying up later at night than necessary. In some cases, this can contribute to mild insomnia. For a young child in the midst of cognitive and physical development, even the slightest bit of insomnia can have negative effects on their growth like slowing or stunting development.
Learning with screens
While too much screen time can hurt mental and physical growth, we shouldn’t ignore the learning potential for children that technology has to offer.
Mobile devices that have access to the internet are immediate sources of knowledge. If you can think of a question, there is most likely a link or website with the answer. From a Montessori perspective, this can be a great tool for children to follow their curiosity.
Children are naturally curious, asking many questions about the world around them. Technology nowadays can act as a guide, much like an instructor, for a child’s cognitive development. Just as your child’s curiosity is almost limitless, so is the wealth of information available at their fingertips within seconds.
Conclusion for parents
Technology can be a very helpful learning tool for children if used properly. Apart from over-usage or poor timing, the freedom of the internet can be overwhelming at times. With proper guidance and very clear boundaries in place, children can gain much from looking at their screens.
Screens at Silverline
At Silverline Montessori, we are dedicated to helping children become better prepared to succeed in the modern world. Our computer learning program blends seamlessly with a Montessori curriculum, so that children can find the balance between computing tasks and other activities.