Advancement in technology is influencing the way a child is growing up. Decades back when we were young the situation was much different. We used to sleep hearing stories told to us by our mother or grandmother. Today’s children sometimes seem to be so restless to spend few minutes with their loved ones because they have to do something which is more exciting to them. They may like to play games in X-box or watching favourite cartoons instead of spending time for other things. They find it the most interesting than anything else.
When we were young the opportunity to see cartoons as well as playing digitised games was very less. I remember waiting for those exciting hours to watch a cartoon on the television. As soon as the cartoon finishes we are back to the normal routine of life. This is not the same scenario in this modern world of technology.
Now we are connected to the internet twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, three sixty five days a year. Thanks to Smartphone’s and tablets that make it possible for us to connect to the internet nearly for the rest of our life. Did you ever think about it? I mean you and me are literally connected to the internet for the rest of our life just because of these gadgets.
What if your children are connected to the internet all the hours of the day sitting at home? Is it safe for them? Do you think they learn a lot and attain different skills by using technology? There are different opinions and arguments regarding the exposure of children to technology. Some of them argue that the technology is important to the development of a child. If we carefully analyse the argument we can see that technology definitely have a role in the development of a child. By constant use of digital technology, they are studying and improving certain skills every day. The skills developed in using a laptop or an i-pad is definitely not something bad. The chances for a child developing as an expert in the technical field cannot be ruled out. Also, we see the emergence of a group of bloggers who are less than twelve years old.
My elder daughter now five years old, started using i-pad only a year back while my younger daughter who is just two is already an expert for her age in using i-pad, as well as other gadgets. So we see that the technology is good for the development of a child. Then why do some people argue that it is not for children. They come out with different opinions to make an argument on this.
It has been reported by many School authorities that children lose their ability to concentrate on their studies due to the overuse of technology. It is only after reading an article on i-pad addition on children written by Guy Adams on the daily mail, I was shocked by the way a child can be addicted to i-pad. Also, I find it hard to believe that his three year old son needed an expensive detox treatment to get rid of his i-pad addiction and related withdrawal symptoms.
The same article made me start thinking about my own five year old daughter’s behaviour. I noticed that she was becoming less interested in her studies. She wakes up every day asking for the i-pad or laptop to see a cartoon or to play games. As soon as she stops using the gadgets before the time she leaves for school, she seems to feel so bored and it appears as if she is just waiting in the school hoping that the school finishes fast so that she can come home and start using the i-pad to play games or watch cartoon.
Apart from losing interest in their academic lessons, the second major complaint about using gadgets and technology is their influence on children which reduce their ability and interest to socialise properly with others. When we were young, we used to talk and play with others a lot as we had enough time to spend. In those days, there was no time spend for technology except few hours in front of the television watching cartoons.
Thirdly, imitating whatever they see on gadgets is another significant negative effect. A child who watches a video of a song or dance tends to learn the song or imitate the steps of the dance. This may improve their creative talents. The same child when exposed to a video or game focussing on violence or crime, may want to imitate those also. There are instances of school children imitating violent video games which are actually meant for those who are aged eighteen and above.
Now a day’s the scenario is entirely different and we are connected to the internet almost full time of our life. So it becomes a difficult task for parents to control their activities on various gadgets. Given below is a list of eight things that I do to make sure that my children are not over exposed to technology so as to prevent them from becoming addicts. Prevention is always better than cure. I hope that these steps may prove beneficial to you especially if you have small children in the family.
1. Make it really strict that you never allow your children to have access to any devices to play games or watch cartoon. This will make them restless for the rest of the day especially when they go to school and end up concentrating less on school. Even if they are not going to school, make it a point that you never allow them to use such technology at least for three to four hours after they wake up. Let them engaged in other activities like playing with their own toys. I know it is difficult for the parents to find enough time.
2. Make use of the advantages of parental control software to monitor your children’s activities on your computer. Try to have parental control software installed on your smart phones and i-pad. This may help to your children from getting addicted to certain games or cartoons to some extend if you deny access to such contents using the parental control software.
3. Always make sure that you have an eye on the content your children are watching so that they should never be allowed to view any content which is not appropriate for their age. It is a good idea to remove games that may lead to addiction.
4. Try to find some activities that allow them to mingle with others in order to socialise with more people. I came across one of my cousin’s son who is just thirteen years old having more than thousand friends in Facebook and he does not have many friends in real life. So having more number of people as friends in social media alone may not help anyone to have a better social life. That is why I find it crucial to have your children involve in various activities that make them develop social skills. Taking children to play some outdoor games with other children is one way for increasing their social skills. Taking them to church regularly and letting them involve in the church activities for children may boost their social skills a lot.
5. Never allow your children to continue using gadgets for longer hours especially i-pads. Try to get their attention out it by taking them outside to play or by indulging them with any indoor games.
6. It is better to use your Desktop computer for children as smaller devices like i-pad make children easily addicted to it as it is more convenient to carry anywhere you go.
7. Make it a point to take the children along with you on your journeys. If you leave them at home with someone they may spend their time with the gadgets only.
8. Make it a habit of switching off all your gadgets at least one hour prior to their bedtime. You can avail of the gadget’s use after the children have slept.
In the modern world, most of the parents are too busy especially when both mum and dad are working and hence they have little time to spend for their children. However busy you are, make sure that your iNanny is not completely controlling your kid.
Author: Guy Adams, Published: 23:04, 29 January 2014 Updated: 13:49, January2014 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2548365/As-revealed-one-three-children-use-tablet-talk-fathers-alarming-story-The-day-I-realised-toddler-addicted-iPad.html, Accessed at 14:00 hrs on 28/05/2014
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