Parenting children who are living in a digital society can be extremely challenging. Today's children and parents are highly exposed to screens and immersed in different types of modern technology and digital media simultaneously. These days, parents rely heavily on communication and information technology and children also depend on entertainment and educational technology for their play and learning. According to Smith (2010), the quality of parenting plays a pivotal role on child overall healthy development and later optimal development trajectories. Therefore, this essay will analyse effects of technology and media use on child development from physical, social, cognitive, and emotional perspectives by applying Jean Piaget and Erik Erikson’s childr development theory. Furthermore, it will demonstrate the important role of child and family health nurses (C&FHNs) in supporting and guiding families to develop and implement a healthy media use plan and screen time habits. It will also refer to Competency Standards for C&FHNs, family partnership model and Universal C&FH services.
A UK qualitative research report in 2016 revealed that technology and media device ownership are more widespread among younger children than ever. The research found that 34% of preschoolers own their personal digital devices and 16% owned a tablet. Data also showed that children watched an average of fourteen hours of television per week in 2015 and it has become increasingly important for family time as the largest number of children watched TV programs from six to nine pm. Moreover, research also found that children from three to four years old now spend more time online than watching TV. Furthermore, the YouTube website or app are particularly popular and important among young children, 37% of preschoolers regularly watch animations, songs, cartoons, movies on YouTube videos (Ofcom,2016).
In addition, the latest Australia Child Health Poll (2017) showed some similar findings, including that infants and toddlers spend an average fourteen hours and preschoolers spend 26 hours on screens; 36% of preschoolers own smartphones or tablets and half of them are using without supervision; 43% of kids regularly use media devices at bedtime which results in sleep problems; two thirds of families reported family conflict and tantrums relating to technology and media use; 85% of parents admitted using screens as a digital babysitter to occupy children or calm them down. Undoubtedly, technology offers opportunities and benefits for enhancing early learning experiences and education; facilitating social connection and interaction; promoting collaboration and problem-solving skills and improving literacy and numeracy. However, evidence continues to show substantially disruptive effects on health, wellbeing and development of developing infants, toddlers and preschoolers (Christakis, 2014; Duch, Fisher, Ensari, & Harrington, 2013).
Children learn through hands-on exploration,...