Electronic Media and the Developing Child

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Electronic media use among infants and toddlers is a growing debate, as technology developments and use have grown exponentially in the past 20 years. In 1990, having a cell phone was a luxury only the extremely wealthy could afford. Now, everyone walks around with their eyes glued to their smartphones. Most people would agree that young children’s minds are susceptible to various stimuli, such as reading and parent interaction. However, the current controversy is whether electronic media such as television hinders their growth or supports it. It seems logically possible that well-designed media could have a positive and educational influence on young children. Many parents see it as a safe and easy forum for engagement. However, there is the possibility that media could have a negative impact on developmental capacities for language, attention, and other cognitive skills. One truth everyone can agree on is that electronic media is a reality of modern day life.

There are many arguments why it’s acceptable for young children to consume electronic media and television. From a parent’s point of view, television watching is extremely practical for them. In this day and age, it’s very rare to find a mother who doesn’t have a full time job. Even if they are a stay at home mother, there are many responsibilities for her to take care of around the house that can be next to impossible while caring for a child. Television can hold the child’s attention while the parent can perform certain tasks. It can also help if the parent is emotionally incapable of caring for the child. In the reading, an example of a mother who was laid off from her job and put on a movie for her children to watch while she regrouped. If she tried to take care of a child in that emotional state, it might have adverse effects. Television can also help change the mood of children. In a study from The Media Family, 53% of parents reported that television had a calming effect on their...
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