Children make use of modern technology. It is their new means of discovering things. But gadgets and devices destroy childhood, the kind of childhood we knew in our time. There is not a lot of kids that go out and play tag. Nor hide and seek nor cowboys and indians. It has been abandoned for the more sedate play of minecraft or watching youtube videos. This does not sit well for most parents.
Some people use these gadgets as an alternative babysitter. This is often the start of children being hooked to these devices. Or when they see older people so entranced and dependent on their cell phones and never talking with each other. Even affection is shown in messages sent through their cell phones.
We all know prolonged use of these devices are very harmful to children’s developing brains. Most studies present medical images and proof of the harmful effects of gadgets and devices. Serious physical and mental problems could arise from long time inactivity and screen exposure. The immediate complaints would be backache and headaches and dry eyes from staring intently. This could also lead to temporary myopia. Impaired learning and cognitive delays can result from non-interaction. Conversation and interaction are important for children to reach their milestones. Social development becomes sluggish and obesity becomes a problem due to inactivity.
Exercise, exploration and play, active play, should be the main focus of childhood. This is the time when most of their brain synapses are actively preparing their minds for future learning. It is up to us, the adults, to try and regulate their use for their own benefit. We must encourage other activities, play with them or develop other hobbies that interest them. Hobbies that can one day develop into something they can focus on. Encourage them to participate in sports or dance recitals. Be mindful. If they cannot use their gadgets often then you shouldn’t either. It reinforces the message and it is only fair.
Let the memories you keep of your children growing up be one where he participates and is smiling. It is a thousand times better than where he is alone, in a corner and languid.