Is technology babysitting your child?

is technology babysitting your child?

Today the digital era has grasped us into its world more than ever before, once you have purchased a smartphone or a digital device you are most likely to rely on it.

Kids are being introduced to technology from entertainment all the way to educational features, we can be pro-occupied with it and sometimes use this to ‘baby-sit’ our children.

As a busy mum, who hasn’t given their child the latest iphone or tablet while out running errands?

Studies show there are negative effects which can impact the child’s wellbeing, in the form of interfering with sleep, mobile addiction, lack of social skills and mental health problems which may arise due to prolonged screen time.

So what can a parent do to not fall into the trap of handing your child a tablet or phone as a distraction every time?

Offer alternative activities –

  • Engage them in books. Even if you don’t have time to read your child a book, there are always audio books.
  • Teach them traditional games such as I-spy. Talk to them, learn arts and crafts, wooden blocks, puzzles, outdoor play etc.
Sites you can visit for fun ideas and activities are:
KidSpot -
Hands On As We Grow -
I Can Teach My Child -
According the Department of Health Australia toddlers aged 1 to 2 years should spend at least 180 minutes a day doing a variety of physical activities including energetic play such as running, jumping, twirling spread throughout the day. Kids are naturally active so creating opportunities for them in outdoor, physical play environments is vital.  
Heart foundation consultant and UWA professor Trevor Shilton says: “Children are not sedentary beings and unfortunately it’s the environments that we construct for them that makes them sedentary.”
Understanding the importance of physical play is necessary as it helps your child with gross and fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and overall fitness, health and wellbeing.
It is important to set a screen time – Limit their usage on the device and set screen-free zones such as the dining table.
Experts recommend no technology until after the age of two while their young mind is still developing.

So remember to find non-tech based activities and use responsible time limit on all devices. Your child’s future self will thank you for it!

- Stephanie Acevedo

Spending time with your little one

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