I wouldn’t discredit the use of technology for study or research, especially for older kids. But, these days, children at the age of 1.5, know how to start the tablet, go to “games” and start playing. It is very convenient for parents to give their children a tablet or let them watch television so that the child does not bother them while they work. But let’s face it, little children will not develop their motor skills when they swipe along the plastic surface of their gadgets. They need to feel different textures like wood, clay, stones, sand and shapes. They need to hold big things and small things with their palms and tiny fingers. Toys like building blocks, Russian dolls and the shape box, will help them to analyze different shapes, sizes and colors from a very young age.
When children get habituated to these tablets and phones they may become antisocial or may not be good communicators. This may be because their interpersonal skills have not been developed properly. They also try to isolate themselves from other kids and slowly become introverted. Studies show that kids who use the tablets, phones or laptops for more than 5 hours face lack of sleep and lack of concentration.
Fast internet, frequent upgrades, quick downloads, lead to a habit of expecting quick results in activities. Children today, are unable to accept the fact that not every result is quick and perfect. This results in stress. Furthermore, the aftermath of constant exposure to violent video games has developed aggression and anger in children.
Now let’s ask ourselves another question?
How do we make our kids smarter without gadgets?
Here are a few tips on what we can do:
1. Monitor: You cannot completely cut your children off from gadgets but you can definitely monitor the amount of time they spend on the gadgets. Make sure you do not give them a personal computer/ laptop/ tablet/ phone until the age of 12.
2. Curricular activities: I’m sure there must be different classes or activities for children that happen in your city. Make your child learn an instrument, or make them play a sport or outdoor game, or learn to dance or sing or write. These activities will benefit their health, mind and keep them away from gadgets.
4. Arts and crafts: Arts and crafts play a very important role in your child’s life. It is the best way for your children to explore their creativity. They learn to build, anticipate, learn from errors, experiment and understand how things work and how things come to be.
5. Talk: Talk to your kids. You may seem their stories as very insignificant, compared to your day, but to them, that story is a very big deal. Ask them about their day, what they felt when a certain someone did or said something, ask for their opinions, let them make certain decisions.
6. Rules: Make rules like – No gadgets during meals, homework and social gatherings.
If we monitor our kids and include certain rules in their life, we can try to avoid an imminent addiction.