5 Reasons Not to Give Your Baby or Toddler an iPad
It’s not just these 5 reasons not to give your baby or toddler an iPad: Your child has plenty of time to grow up to be a tech-obsessed sperglord unable to form real emotional connections with others. You don’t need to start them at age 1.
No Positive Effects on Those Under Two
The American Academy of Pediatrics recently came out with a report revealing that children under the age of 2 gain absolutely nothing from ‘screen time’ of any kind, whether it be sitting in front of the television or playing an ‘educational’ game on the iPad. Babies get no stimulation out of playing with the iPad; letting them play with one is akin to taping ping pong balls over their eyes and making them sit in the crib listening to radio static.
Babies may be attracted to the iPad because, to put it frankly, they are dumb as hell. The novelty of a screen, with all its flashing lights and bright colors, is enough to attract a human at almost any age. This attentiveness can be traced to a technical aspect of how the human brain works; we are made to notice changes in our environment as a survival tactic.
Your baby doesn’t notice the screen because he’s, like, oh my god so cute and smart already! He’s just like every other baby, falling into a zombified trance at the mercy of your Lord iPad.
Screens Are Bad, Mmkay
And besides, screens of any kind are bad for a baby’s eyes. Too much time on the iPad can cause anyone’s eyes to atrophy (gross), especially your child. This is because the first three years of life are extra super-duper crucial to that little animal’s development. Born with approximately 2,500 synapses in the brain, babies typically grow about 12,500 more by age 3. Don’t fuck up that process by depriving your child of sunlight and stimulation.
Another negative effect of letting your baby zone out on the iPad while you’re jerking off in the other room is that most apps for kids under 2 ask for ‘passive attention.’ They are simply watched, requiring little to no interaction on your child’s part. You’re training it to be one of the dudes from They Live!
Half the time your toddler is watching television, it doesn’t even know what the fuck is going on. Studies have shown that most kids under the age of two don’t even know where to look on the screen, but are just gazing in hypnotic awe at all the flashing images and rapid changes.
“But I got this game that’s like painting but without the mess!”
All these iPad games that are advertised as “just like that thing in real life but without the chore of having to clean up” are just tempting you to be a shitty parent. If you didn’t want to clean up messes, you probably should have used a condom. Babies are the messiest, sloppiest poop-tears-and-vomit machines available on the market today.
Your kid needs tactile stimulation. It needs to feel stuff with it’s grimy little hands, to smell stuff with its snotty little nose, and to exercise its undeveloped eyes on the depths and distances of our 3 dimensional world. An iPad pales in comparison to the sensory environment that comes with playing with paints, paintbrushes and paper, or using real building blocks as opposed to the shadowless, 2D colors on a screen.
There are adults who literally die because of their addiction to technology. The percentage of individuals addicted to their phones and computers is ever increasing.
After five hours of playing games and watching Curious George episodes, your kid isn’t going to care about hanging out with you or reading a book or coloring with crayons. It wants the iPad.
iPad apps and games promote dopamine releases in the brain by doling out virtual prizes laden with bright colors and funny noises to reward and encourage them to continue playing. So what? This makes your kid full of relentless wanting for more, more, and more screen time. And if you’re using the iPad as a means to putting your child to sleep, you’re doing just the opposite — it wakes them up and disrupts their sleep patterns.
It gets creepier. Many parents who have given their child a 400 dollar iPad have reported a lack of attention to the real world in their little beast.
“He doesn’t even hear his own name. I have to ask him three times before he snaps out of his trance.”
The NY Times notes that this is a huge problem among adults, even parents — many of whom are guilty of ignoring their children in the name of checking emails or answering text messages. It would be wise not to let your kid fall into this type of pattern before it even knows how to wipe its own ass.
Interact With Your Goddamn Baby
That is your job. Stop giving your baby the iPad when you’re trying to watch football or play Skyrim. Neroth can wait to find out that Verona the Steward has been slaughtered by an Ash Spawn. He isn’t going anywhere. He will still be in his little mushroom castle a few hours from now.
Your kid needs to talk to and interact with you. Waiting in the doctor’s office and trying to ‘keep boredom at bay’ is almost the perfect time for you to make up a game, engage in coloring activities, play with legos, whatever — anything hands on that involves the two of you working together. Sure, digital puzzles and word games can begin helping them expand their vocabulary at around age four or five, but it’s meant as a supplement, not to replace you as the parent. Your child needs stimulation from a number of areas — interacting with other kids, but especially with you. The little shit needs to know you care about it. It wants you to look it in the eye and smile, as daunting as that may seem.Speak Your MindTell us what you're thinking... and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!