When I think about children and childhood; memories come popping up about playing in die mud, fighting with my sister and going to the beach over December holidays. I grew up in die country and had every opportunity to play outside in die rain, going to the farm and raising my own chicks and geese. We didn't have access to internet, cell phones, iPads, etc. We had to make up our own games and sometimes even play with our imaginary friends. Today most children have access to the internet, social networks and cell phones. Some of them even show me how to use them J this got me thinking….what is the potential impact of modern technology on the development of our children. And here I would love to know your thoughts. Please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a play therapist I don't necessarily have a problem with children having access to the internet, social networks and cell phones. My concern is how the access is being controlled? Can we really control what our children might be exposed to? How do we implement rules and boundaries? Do you as parents have rules when it comes to social media and cell phones? It makes sense to me that parents give their children cell phones – in that way they can always have contact with them and sometimes even track where their child are. I understand that the internet provides children with information about school subjects and help them to gather academic information. I know that research shows that children who play video games have better problem solving skills and that they tend to think out of the box more that children who don’t.
Unfortunately I don't have a perfect answer for this. I believe in doing everything in balance. Children need time to learn how to use modern technology – it will help them. But children should never be dependent on it. They should still play outside and play make-believe games. Limit your child’s access to television, games, internet, social networks and cell phones to make time for outside play. Also; make time for family playtime. Families are so busy lately that it’s easy to forget about spending quality time together. I know that parents are busy and I have much respect for parents that work and raise children – it is not easy. But spending at least 20 minutes per day with each of your children can make a difference. Teach your children to respect technology, but not to choose it above human interaction. Teach your children that playing outside can be fun, and help them to do so. I know that a lot of children grow up living in environments where they have no or little access to gardens and space to play. In this case spend time together as a family coming up with ideas or games that you can play inside the house. I know that baking cupcakes and decorating them is a very fun activity for children, even the boys. Have fun and teach your child to be creative and to use imagination