Parents worry they are being replaced by technology, according to a new study. With the rise of iPad apps for toddlers and new hi-tech gadgets appearing on the shelves every day, parents and experts are concerned that children are becoming addicted to technology.
Nearly half of the parents polled by npower felt their communication with their children had been affected by technology and over a quarter admitted feeling redundant and hurt by the lack of involvement in their child’s life. A third revealed they had to compete with games consoles and online social networking for their children’s attention.
This comes as toy company VTech launch an “iPad for kids”. The InnoTab is aimed at children aged 4 to 9 and hopes to replicate the success the iPad has had with its toddler apps.
Selfridges predicts the InnoTab will become a Christmas bestseller, but some experts are worried that the increasing reliance of children and parents on technology-based toys and interaction could lead to problems with reading, speech and social development.
While iPad-style apps can be great for babies and children to develop numeracy and logic skills, it’s important to balance this with old-fashioned communication and interaction with their parents and other people.
“It’s absolutely imperative that children spend as much time as possible interacting with real people, particularly looking at their parents’ faces and picking up facial voice cues and gaining eye-to-eye communication,” stressed Dr Sigman, from the Royal Society of Medicine. “If they don’t, they don’t learn to speak as well and they don’t learn how their behaviour affects others.”