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Modern gadget and gizmos a boon or a misfortune in a childs development

I would say it is a boon, which has the ability to turn into a misfortune…..I often ask this question – Are gadgets replacing the time meant for parents, or are parents bringing in gadgets to fill the time lost with their children? Undoubtedly, gadgets are encroaching on the precious time meant for parents, as children tend to be so inclined towards gadgets that they have no time or interest left for other quests. Additionally, parents keep bringing in new gadgets, to supposedly keep their children happy and content. I wonder if that really helps…..

Modern Gadget, Boon or Misfortune in a Childs Development

I heard someone telling me, “My son’s passion is playing video games, which is all he ever asks for, so we don’t say no”. Another common thing you will get to hear is – “Peer pressure makes us buy these expensive gadgets, we don’t want our children to feel out of the league or group”. I don’t deny the fact that there is indeed peer pressure, but that does not justify giving in to all demands….parents just need to provide some guidance and time.

While I understand that the use of gadgets and gizmos does make your child more competitive, inquisitive, smarter, and increases your child’s readiness for today’s dynamic curriculum, however, striking the right balance between sitting in front of a screen and other activities is most important. This balance, and control must be brought in right from the time your child gets access to any gadget, whether for entertainment, or for educational purposes.

Moreover, incessant chatting with friends, looking at videos, or playing games can easily take up long hours, without a bit of realisation. This can lead to extensive stress on the eyes due to long hours spent staring at one object continuously, at the same distance. Heavy concentration also brings down the blink rate, which leads to dryness of eyes. I have seen children sitting with their iPad or tabs for hours together, crushing down their family time, playground time with friends, or any physical activity, all of which are so critical.

Ever thought, why are children more inclined towards spending time with gadgets?

One of the reason is the lack of quality time spent with your children. Give communication a chance, right from an early age. This helps in building a two way connect, easy flow of expressions, deep understanding of inner feelings, interests, development areas, and their strengths. Investing time in casual chats would definitely help you connect better with your child, and make him understand your point of view, especially when unreasonable demands start flowing in.

Another floating reason behind extensive gadget use and demand, is working parents. This is especially for working mothers…..as they feel guilty about their absence from home, they turn more gullible, and tend to give in to their demands easily. Remember, nothing can compensate the time you spend with your child, and you do nothing wrong by working. Missing time with your child, and buying them expensive gadgets, are independent of each other. You are the best judge, so ask yourself if your child really needs the gadget he is craving for. Is the cost going to hurt your pocket?  If you decide not to buy the gadget, you would need to certainly talk to him at length, to make him understand the ‘need-want’ theory, or place the cost perspective into picture, and ask him to earn it himself, via means of pocket money which he gets after completing a set task, or by gaining reward points on completion of a milestone you may have set with regards to sports, education, or any other achievement.

Let’s talk about peer pressure, which is the most common reason behind easy agreement to demands. It is quite natural for your child to get influenced, and build a desire for a new item that is in trend, or exists with most of his friends. It is also seen that children with low self-confidence tend to easily surrender to peer pressure. Therefore, you play the most important role in such cases, and your affection and guidance is the key. Its time to subtly have a long and close look on his friends, as ideally, friends should have similar values, and preferably be from similar financial backgrounds. You can also try and work upon building varied interests in your child. Again, this cannot be achieved overnight, therefore communication plays an important role, right from childhood.

We all understand that exposure to some bit of gadgets help your child be future ready, but the key is controlled and monitored use.

As they say – Too much of anything can turn in to mayhem !

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