We love technology and rely on it to basically live. And we admit that sometimes we rely on it way too much. We know all about the dark side of technology and do our best to avoid the pitfalls. However, no one really questioned how it affects children until it was too late. Technology now affects our children’s ability to speak and write with pencils.
CBS Connecticut understands frazzled parents view technology, such as tablets, like a godsend. When the kid cries, sometimes showing them a bright, colorful, and interactive screen makes the screaming go away.
But, doctors want parents to ease back the technology and break out the building blocks instead. They say because of our reliance on screens, it severely eroded children’s motor skills. And the results are downright frightening.
Pediatric occupational therapist Sally Payne explained:
“Children are not coming into school with the hand strength and dexterity they had 10 years ago. Children coming into school are being given a pencil but are increasingly not be able to hold it because they don’t have the fundamental movement skills.”
Parents, thankfully, accepted the blame for this alarming new trend. Now that adults work longer hours for less pay, they don’t want to come home to a screaming child. They want peace and they want quiet.
We all understand that. But, then where do we draw the line between “acting like a parent” and “keeping sane?”
Either way, this preference of phones over pencils caused more than decreased motor skills.
The of technology directly contributed to weight problems in children. Mostly, kids simply don’t play or run around like they did 10 years ago. In fact, kids seem to have an equally sedentary lifestyle as adults nowadays.
And that’s sad. Children need to play, draw, and make mistakes in order to develop these essential motor skills.
Also, pediatricians warn that early exposure to technology greatly delays a child’s ability to learn basic speech. As for an appropriate age to introduce them to technology: they recommend screen exposure to toddlers two and up.
However, what is a frazzled parent to do when their child melts down in public? Yes, they show videos on their smartphone because that’s the fastest way to cool their kid down. Plus, no one likes receiving those judgemental stares from strangers. No one likes feeling like they’re a bad parent.
But kids have off days. They become moody. All in all, they aren’t rational adults!
So, maybe, we should go back to the day where children needed to “cry it out.” We need to change this new culture of parenting of immediately needing to pacify a crying child. There comes a point where parents need to become tolerant of a tantrum. It teaches them a valuable lesson about life’s many disappointments.
Parents refuse to give into their child because that’s what being a parent is all about. They parent first and act like a friend later.
Then again, I only have nieces and a cat to call my child, so, what do I know?
Tangent aside, the scary thing affecting kids now is screen time. When children struggle to hold pencils, we know something’s screwed up.
But what’s to be done to reverse this alarming new trend? How do we cut down screen time when it even plays a major role in the classroom?
More importantly. dealing with screen addiction… a whole new issue doctors started tackling.
If kids struggle to write with pencils now, what kind of adults will they grow up into? Then again, do you think pencils and pens are outdated? Maybe writing on keyboards is the future.
We’ll never know until we get there.