Posted by & filed under Child Development, Early Social and Emotional development, Families and Peers, Intervention: Children and Adolescents.

Description: Parents of difficult infants and young children sometimes use television as a way of calming the children down when they become difficult to manage. Given the wide availability of other forms of electronics such as iPads what might you predict about their use by the parents of difficult infants and children?

Source: iPads Often Used to Pacify Difficult Kids, Health Day, Mental Health Information.

Date: March 1, 2016


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Links: Article Links —



You may have seen parents and various places in public giving their very young children their iPad or their cell phone when the child becomes upset or agitated or otherwise just generally costs a fuss. He also may have run across a reference to concerns about the use of television as a pacifier but parents of difficult children. The concern with television is that it cuts down on the amount of face-to-face social interaction between parents and children it may make it more difficult for parents to help their difficult child develop more effective social coping strategies. With positive reflecting a little bit on the application of these findings for the vastly increasing number of screens and related devices can be found in young children’s environments these days. Think a bit about the possible applications both positive and negative of this strong current social trend.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. How might parents use electronic devices to calm their difficult children down?
  2. What do you see as possible issues or concerns that will arise potentially from the use of electronic devices as child calming tools?
  3. What does the research mentioned in the links linked article above and in the article cited below suggest about the use of electronic devices as infant pacifiers?

References (Read Further):

Espiritu, M. (2016). Early Childhood iPad Use and Effects on Visual Spatial Attention Span.

Beal, J. A. (2016). Interactive Screen Media Use by Young Children. MCN: The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, 41(2), 124.

Goh, S. N., Teh, L. H., Tay, W. R., Anantharaman, S., van Dam, R. M., Tan, C. S., … & Müller-Riemenschneider, F. (2016). Sociodemographic, home environment and parental influences on total and device-specific screen viewing in children aged 2 years and below: an observational study. BMJ open, 6(1), e009113.

Use of Mobile Technology to Calm Upset Children: Associations with Social-Emotional development,” JAMA Pediatrics, April 2016, Volume 170, No.4. Doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.4260.