“A Tablet Is Not a Babysitter”-How Much Reading Do Children?

Tablets, smartphones and co. have already arrived in German classrooms and kindergartens-what means that for the children? For some digital technology promises better learning. Others warn of serious dangers.

Already three draw on the Tablet, some primary school students have a Smartphone in your pocket. Now, this is normality in German schools and kindergartens. Tablets and co. are already fall into the hands of the smallest. Experts argue about what does this mean for children. Core of the debate: how much technology and media to cope with children and at what age should they get in touch? Too much digital media endangered the development, some say. The devices allow better learning, claim the other.

Doctors warn

“We children’s and youth physicians are convinced that significant health and psychological impairments, see this every day in our practices,” Till Reckert reported by the Professional Association of children and youth physicians. “We warn against the consequences that must suffer the children of parents, which your Smartphone is important as the contact to the own child,” RAD said.

The pediatrician is not alone in his view. The alarm calls of doctors, who are critical of the mobile devices in children’s hands are getting louder. As a doctor working group from Stuttgart warned about in last autumn before the health consequences of the increasing use of digital media in schools. Were 20 doctors of different disciplines.

The confirmed by the Ulm psychiatrist and assigned to brain researcher Manfred Spitzer a negative effect on the brain and learning development in their medical practice, it was said. The findings: a disturbing growth strain, headaches, ADHD and mental illness. He relationship with the growing use of digital media.

The kids are on the net

The doctors of the reality of kindergartens and schools but are lagging behind with their warnings: there this long since arrived according to Internet studies. It is used of three year olds and older children belongs to everyday life, from five years according to the recently published report “Children in the digital world”, the German Institute for trust and security on the Internet (DIVSI) together with the Institute has drawn up according to polls in 1832 parents of three to eight years old and in 1029 children sine.

According to the digital Association BITKOM, half of 10 to 11 year olds already has an its own Smartphone. From the perspective of many parents, the risks are greater than the odds, so two-thirds of fathers and mothers forbid their children but to go on the Internet. Not child-friendly content, contacts to unknown and cyberbullying considered greatest dangers.

But no matter whether at school, at the bus stop or on the football field – glue many children before the mobile screens. Sabine Eder says the ease of use and intuitive access they became popular, in children by the National Executive Committee of the society for media education and communication culture. The devices would children often “as if by magic, magically attracted by.”

Hard to resist

“This exerts a pull, one which can hardly escape”, pediatrician rad this attraction is more critical. But children expert Eder sees also the advantages: for three, there are many digital child-friendly offers. A metered approach could the “creative skills that foster responsiveness, logical thinking, and even the motor skills of children”.

In an all experts agree: movement, Tobezeiten, game, fresh air should not replace the equipment. “If children are permanently engaged with electronic media, then the danger is that such experiences to be neglected and children are affected in their development”, children expert Susanne Rieschel by parent Advisor “show says out!”. Children could then develop a pathological fear of missing anything. In addition, the blinding light of the screens suppress the hormone melatonin, which regulates the sleep / awake cycles.

But from how early and when is it dangerous? “The optimal age for smartphones does not exist,” says Rieschel expert. Rather it was on the individual maturity. “Whether with 11, 12 or 13 age, must ultimately decide the parents.” Expert emphasizes Eder: up to the age of three years, the real experience in the focus should be: “The Tablet as a babysitter so taboo should.” (mho)

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