Raising a Child with Today’s Technology
There is nothing I dislike more than children, whose faces are permanently immersed in from of a screen, be it a game console, a mobile device or iPad-like gadget and this is a reality that cannot be escaped.
In my observation of my daughter in school and conversations with others, I’ve come to my own humble conclusion that children are now smarter than ever before. If I am correct, this can be due to a number of reasons, one of the main ones being the exposure of children to so much more opportunities, technology and information that any other generation in history.
What I loved most about my childhood were the walks in the part and a good old fashioned swing set. I have always made it a point to encourage my daughter to go out and play and meet other children in our community park. However, I’ve noticed that less and less kids are coming out to play. As a mother, it can be quite alarming how television sets and iPads are becoming pseudo-baby sitters to kids who are at the risk of missing their own childhood; Kids are becoming “hi-tech junkies” as one writer called it.
We as parents must draw the line and determine for our children what the appropriate amount of screen time is. Let me clarify that I am not against technology as I know from my own experience that it has proved to be a useful tool in educating and providing play time for my child. Technology has proved it can be a link to improved reading, arithmetic and communication skills but there are also unintended effects.
First of all, the internet is not as secure as we would want it to be. There are times when viewing and use of technology is not going to be monitored, especially as children age and learn to manipulate these items themselves. Another area of caution for any parent is their child’s social skills; the limitation of actual person to person communication and interaction can have an implication as your child ages. Appropriate interaction skills are learned or adapted through constant exposure and being constantly in front of a virtual device can limit experiential learning. Lastly, it is good to get some physical activity, being too sedentary can affect physical growth as well as the development of fine motor skills.
As a concerned parent, it is my advocacy to share with parents the need for a balance; everything must be balanced. It is good to get out there not just once in a while but constantly. Every moment is fleeting and before you know it, kids grow up. As a parent, you need to lead by example and practice what you preach. There is no harm in introducing this equipment as familiarity can go a long way in the future but while you’re setting up your equipment, internet connection and/or phone system, it is good to think about boundaries and rules you can set in place to ensure that you are putting a balance to your child’s life. Life is short and as a parent, you should ensure that they live as much of it as possible.