Do you have a new-age baby?
“My child can easily operate a mobile and a tablet”, said a proud mom. Is this good or bad?
These days, young people are very tech- savvy. The people taking to gizmos and gadgets are getting younger and younger. Yes, there are a lot of toddlers who are able to operate mobiles and tablets. It’s becoming common to see little fingers playing with the touch screens like ‘pros’.
While it is natural for a parent to express pride in a child’s achievement, and operating a gadget is definitely an achievement- but it needn’t become a case of one- upmanship. After all, different children can do different things well.
It is great for children to explore the world of technology, but playing with it should not become an addiction. It is like watching T.V.—watching good programmes for a limited time is fine. But too much of it is bad. Similarly, if a child becomes dependent on a gizmo, it is not good.
Some parents have observed that too much dependence on gadgets has caused their children’s writing skills to weaken. Toddlers are at the stage where they yet need to learn basic academic skills like reading, writing and arithmetic and composition. If everything is there on “their tablet”, where is the adventure of discovering things for themselves? Children should be able to research and look for answers to their questions from different sources.
Children’s over dependence on mobiles, tablets and T.V, even for entertainment is not good. If you take away the T.V. or their tablet, they get frustrated-they don’t know what to do with themselves. Children should be given a chance to cultivate other hobbies that are enjoyable and productive and that release their emotions.
Looking at T.V. or computer screens for long periods of time weakens the eye-sight of children.
There is a time for everything. To start the use of computers at too early a stage has its problems. The child may easily become a couch potato at a time when he needs to be as physically active as possible.
As I said before, while it is natural for a parent to be proud of a child who uses a mobile or tablet earlier than his peers, there needs to be balance. The focus needs to shift from this kind of achievement. Some parents are proud of things that their children do that are not of any lasting value.
These days, we’d like to hear of parents applauding their children for being well- behaved, showing sportsmanship or helping the helpless. We should take pride in a child who shows honesty- even if she or he loses a competition. We need to discourage the ‘dog eats dog’ attitude in our children.