I am a parent of a 5 yr old. Yes, just like most of the parents complain, I also admit that my son loves mobile games, TV cartoons and xbox games. So, whats the point in cribbing ? I thought of doing a small analysis to find out if this is a matter to be complained or proud ? because my 55 yr old father does not know to operate the gadgets which my 5 yr old son knows. So, should we really bother about this ? Here are some facts of my analysis post discussing with many parents and talking to paediatricians
Top complaints :
- My child is always on mobiles or TV
- My child demands TV cartoon , only then he/she will eat food
- My child does not like to play with friends, if he / she is with the gadget, that is enough for hours
- My child started wearing specs due to gadget addiction
- My child can access wifi, go to play store and download new games, I am very scared
I even have my friends who complain about their < 1 year old child who cries and demands for phone to play / watch rhymes.
But frankly, when my child is very tech friendly, somewhere in the corner of our heart, we feel proud that the child has smart brains. Isn’t ? Now, I have done some small analysis and listing out few advantages and disadvantages
Few Advantages :
- A recent study from the Education Development Center and the U.S. Congress-supported Ready To Learn (RTL) Initiative found that a curriculum that involved digital media such as video games could improve early literacy skills when coupled with strong parental and teacher involvement. Interestingly, the study focused on young children, and 4- and 5-year-olds who participated showed increases in letter recognition, sounds association with letters, and understanding basic concepts about stories and print.
- Improves Multi tasking
- Increases logical thinking and quicker response skills
More references for advantages –
Few Disadvantages :
- Children get aggressive playing with gadgets
- They forget to realise outside life and becomes more tech centric not human centric
- Their motor organs in brain have increased growth on one area, where in physical activities are comparatively reduced
- They learn socially connected not via meeting people, going to public places, their social contacts will be playing candy crush with others online and challenging angry birds with friends
- A child learns to download a game even before learning potty training
More references for dis advantages –
Okay.. now with all this you would have also had same information like me, but what is the final answer ? Is gadget addiction good for kids or not ? There is no one answer. Even I do not know. I want my child to be equally technically knowledgable with his peers in the society but not face the disadvantages. But, there is another view.
Before that , I also honestly accept the fact that my parents generation used to play with sticks & stones, I was lucky to shop toys and chess kind of games, and my kid now has gadgets part of generation tech growth.. So, this is definitely not something to be stopped.. Now lets continue the culprit investigation…
Gadget exposure is fine, but gadget addiction is definitely not a good term. Have you ever realised that there is a culprit who has introduced or paved way to this ADDICTION to your child ? Do you know who is that culprit ?
THE CULPRIT INVESTIGATION : (Few dialogues from random families)
- Our family has a good habit of doing pooja and praying to God daily after we take bath, this has become a habit for my child also such that he is also disciplined to pray daily
- We have the habit of wishing and celebrating friends and relatives birthdays and make them feel special. Seeing this, our 3 yr old also realises the value of relationship and happily celebrates others birthdays with love
- We call each other with respect “ji” word attached, even younger ones, so this gave a habit to our 2 yr old to talk with respect , he has never shown a tone of disrespect to anyone
- We have the habit of eating together in the family during dinner. My child is also very eager and spends quality time sharing the incidents that happened in school that day
Every family has such moral value that we teach to the child not as a theory but as part of the family value system. Now tell me , how many of you enter home and the first thing you do is putting your phone in charger ? How many of your houses will have the TV ON inspite of a channel running or ad running ? How many of you have activated office mails in your phone and every “Ting” sound, drags you inside office mode easily ? How many are addicted to fb and whatsapp ? I am not mentioning that this is wrong, this is why a smartphone is invented but we fail to realise that the little one is unconsciously watching all these acts, so the family value system teaches the child to be OKAY to get dragged to the gadget or TV.
Do not spend one full day with your child, next day give 5 minutes time and ask your child what you want to do ? Phone games, Cartoon channel, youtube rhymes, talking with us , playing with friends ? The answer from your child will not give the status of your child’s mentality but it will give the % of family value system that is being injected into the child.
Now I am able to understand how a 1 yr old child can demand for phone (always seeing mama with phone), how a 5 yr old gives a condition that he will eat only when TV is on, (his parents always have TV on at home) and similar cases in different styles are there.
So, did you find the culprit who made your child GADGET addict ? Its never too late to act upon ! Come on , sacrifice few office mails at home time, sacrifice that TV channel during evenings, you will stop complaining that your child is so addicted to this tech world ! Just like me 🙂