Dilemma of New Age Parents – How much of Technology-exposure should be allowed to Kids?

There’s a clear trend which is exhibiting an increase in Obesity in Kids and Teenagers. Children are being diagnosed with Hyperactivity, Attention-Deficit and Depression related disorders.

What’s behind that anxiety and restlessness in young children?

Our childhood was truly blissful. Playing endlessly under the sun, dancing in the rain, running around the corridors until we dropped; we learnt our lessons by real-time experiences. There was no Mr. Google to answer our questions; we had to be head-scratchers to sort out our stuff. Things have changed for sure for our children! With a click of a button, they are bombarded with information! Why would they bother to be creative then? While we recited poems, they hear them passively from the smartphones; while we drained ourselves running and playing, they rather enjoy a story being told on a certain app or playing video games. We lived in real world and made real friends; they live in a virtual age and make online friends.

Should this worry us? I guess, Yes!

And while we read this we also agree that Technology is a thought-provoking double-edged weapon. Now we have umpteen apps that we could ever want to teach our children various concepts, subjects, reading, painting and entertainment. It’s too difficult not to get overwhelmed seeing little toddlers navigate through these smart gadgets with that expert-like-ease. It often tricks us into thinking how techno-savvy our little geniuses are and take pride in seeing these petite masterminds working on them with proficiency.

Modern parenting is complex and young parents often find it difficult to do a rope-walk on priorities. Is it wrong to provide our kids with most up-to-date tools for learning and recreation?Isn’t it relaxing to see our kids getting entertained, while we can do other works or cook or just spend time with our partner?

Let’s find our answers-

Little babies are born with limitless capabilities! Their brains are power-houses of possibilities! They learn with actual real-time interactions and experiences! When we thwart that natural learning process and give them a stimulus that engages them passively and just provides information, they don’t get an opportunity to participate, to touch, to feel! Their tender brains get over-stimulated!

The time they spend on gadgets and games, keeps them from their real play time and other interactive activities. What kind of adults will these kids be? They may be incomplete and handicapped, devoid of creativity and imagination. Perhaps this next generation may be more sedentary and less sociable. Most of them will not know what it is to have real tangible friends. Infact, they may be more prone to mental disturbances and panic episodes. For someone who doesn’t socialize, doesn’t communicate, have no idea how to create original answers may just be a cold robot devoid of warmth and empathy.

Should we completely deprive our kids of technology? Again, we face a problem! These children have to survive in the 21st century and in no way could we isolate them the rest of the world. We need to make them competent and yet happy individuals.

I guess the answer lies in Moderation! We need to ensure we indulge our kids in multi-sensory experiences. We need to arrange those first-hand engagements for them that allow them to learn from hands-on interaction with people; alongside, give them little exposure to technology in accordance to their age and capacity. Now how to quantify this? It lies in using our common parlance! May be a discussion with paediatricians can ease out the dilemma further. Many child-specialists often give guidelines to parents about how much time their kids may be allowed to watch TV or play gadget games.

We need to create strong and competent adults for tomorrow and it’s a huge responsibility! Let them be confident, competent, happy and thriving! And, the process has already begun! It’s time for us to contribute!

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