Do you know what I am sick of seeing? Children glued to electronic devices. It’s everywhere I go. I took the bus the other day, and bore witness to a toddler in a pushchair, literally scream at his mother until she handed him her big, flashy IPhone – which he then handled like a pro until he found the app he was looking for, and quietened down.
This isn’t normal. Children are mastering the art of technology faster than they are learning manners (if they ever learn them at all). And, what’s more, parents are facilitating it.
Research shows that 90% of children studied could grasp the skills needed to use a tablet by the age of two – that’s before they have even acquired the full ability to talk.
What happened to the good ol’ days of physically engaging with your kids? When parents would sit down and read them a book, or play games? I guess those are a thing of the past, and gadgets are the future. Yikes, that’s frightening.
Perhaps I am not qualified to have an opinion, because I do not have any children of my own, but it’s something that really grinds my gears.
Too often I hear people using their busy lives as an excuse. “I work a lot and it’s easier to keep my kids quiet this way”…
Okay, but how do you think people managed when we were young? Smart phones and tablets didn’t exist when I was little; if I was bored I actually had to go outside and get dirty. Imagination was my sole source of entertainment – unless you include Saturday morning cartoons (RIP SM:TV live).
I have heard some people argue that a lot of the apps designed for kids are highly educational, and while I strongly encourage a good education, particularly from a young age, I don’t understand why this needs to be done through a phone. Where is the harm in picking up a book? You might even be able to teach your youngsters how to speak properly, as opposed to the abomination that most of them are calling the English language these days.
And what about once they become teenagers? In 2015, only 12% of 13 to 17-year-olds DIDN’T own a mobile phone. I’m fairly sure I don’t need to highlight the worrying dependency teens have on their phones, with 24% of 13 to 17-year-olds admitting to constantly checking their phones – even when they are at school.
We might be in the midst of the digital age, but you have a say in how you raise your kids. So get involved in their lives. Teach them. Communicate with them. Encourage them to get out from behind the screens and look around them.
Your children are the future of this world. They will be the minds that shape things to come – whether that be advances in medicine, or discovering life on Mars – but right now, they are more comfortable with an IPad, than they are with genuine social interaction. Parents, I urge you to fix that, before it’s too late.