Travel by subway. A child of about 18 months / 2 years is on the stroller, all muffled. He is traveling with his parents. It starts to get nervous: it's hot, there are so many people around, the noise is deafening. His mom is talking on the phone. His dad is reading a newspaper - one of those they give at the entrance to the station. Now he is kicking a little, shaking his arms, it is clear that he is beginning to no longer be able to. Mum continues his call. Dad's reading. Suddenly the baby begins to cry. First mom and then dad try to calm him down, shaking the stroller a bit. The baby calms down for a few moments then starts crying again. At this point, the father pulls out his cell phone and passes it to the child after selecting a video on Youtube that probably the child already knows. The child freezes and as if hypnotized, he begins to look inside the screen, images and scenes that, at least so it seems, have the power to calm him and reassure him.
More and more often we witness scenes like this: adults who "placate" the emotional activations of the children by placing a screen in front of their eyes. An action that "interferes" with the child's internal world, bringing it into a dissociative state. Where we learn to no longer feel what is happening in us, I take - as it is - from the hyperstimulation that comes from stimuli external to us. It is a pity that ever more precociously and more and more often little ones learn emotional self-regulation not inside a look, a hug, a real contact accompanied by words that give meaning, but inside a screen. Showing moving images, crazy sounds, elements of hyperstimulation that have nothing human and relational. Perhaps we adults do not realize it. But putting a child in front of a screen to calm him - when he is only 1.2 or 3 years old - means unequivocally predisposing him to addiction. That is, disabe him to stay tuned with his emotions and feelings and not to push him to use relationships with those who take care of him as a "prince" method to cross an area of discomfort and return to calm and tranquility. It's true, a screen in an instant blocks emotional hyperactivation, freezes everything. But from there at some time, that artificial freezing, will have to become something else.
As parents, as educators, as responsible adults we should know that when a child is agitated, the last thing he needs to calm himself is to have a screen in front of his eyes.