Posted: December 14th, 2022
You have been an infant/toddler teacher for the past 20 years, and you have noticed a big change — very young children are being exposed to the use of smartphones and tablets. You understand that while children do learn from media and touchscreens, it is easier for young children to learn from engaging, hands-on experiences.
At drop-off this morning, a parent enters your infant classroom holding their cell phone up to 3-month-old’s face so that he can watch a cartoon video. They mention this is the only effective way to calm the otherwise fussy baby when they hand the baby over to you and leaves for work each morning. You understand that it takes babies a lot of effort to watch screens and you have noticed that watching the screen on their cell phone makes the baby very tired. Since the baby is not yet old enough to turn their head away for a rest, you notice that baby becomes instantly distressed.
As the parent takes off the baby’s coat and hangs it in their cubby, you notice that the parent props up their cell phone so that the baby can continue to watch the cartoon videos on the screen. Suddenly, you notice a scary image appears across the screen during an advertisement. The imagery includes a monster and horrible faces, and you know that scary visual images can stay in a young child’s mind for a long time. This kind of imagery can pop up no matter what else is going on in the cartoon video or how lovable the characters are. Babies can be scared when a normal-looking character transforms into a frightening one, particularly if they see the character changing. Scary images or scenes can upset babies.
You have decided to plan a one-on-one parent-teacher conference with this parent to encourage them to avoid passive screen time as much as possible and consider engaging and interacting with their baby when incorporating technology throughout the day. For example, joining in by dancing and pointing to lyrics as the baby moves along to a dance video, or interacting with the baby while reading an eBook by asking questions, discussing pictures, etc.
In preparation for this meeting, you are going to write a 3-4 page reflection in APA format to gather your thoughts in one place regarding the ethical concerns discussed in the scenario.
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