It is not gadgets that harm children, but … parents with gadgets
Olenka was telling her mother something very emotionally about the event that happened in the kindergarten. The mother nodded in response, but continued writing the message in the Viber. The child stopped speaking, waiting for the answer to the question, which the mother of course didn’t hear … Olenka was offended and went to play in the room alone, while the mother continued online communication, not even feeling how painfully she had offended her four-year-old daughter, how she had hurt her emotional development, depriving of communication.
Researches are constantly studying the impact of the latest technologies on our children. Every day children spend more and more time in the virtual world. Children do not communicate with peers because they simply do not know how to do it.
The psychologists argue which devices and Internet platforms harm children the most and also determine how many hours is it safe to spend online at this or that age. The research shows that on average the child spends online four hours a day. But many children play games much longer. The average age of the child that begins to get acquainted with the gadget today reached four months!
American sociologist and teacher Erika Christakis, the author of the book “The importance of being little: what young children really need from grownups” draws attention to the other problem. She confirms that the significant damage to the development of children is done by parents who, while spending time with their son or daughter, once and again look at their smart phones.
Adult addiction to smart phones every day leads to accidents, deaths on the road, sleep disturbances and jealousy to an electronic “friend”. Social networks are gradually replacing live communication between adults. It is not uncommon when having supper at the table the spouses are far from each other and from their children. Adults lose their ability to communicate and to listen carefully to each other. It’s easier for them to write a message than to call. Live communication is gradually gave way. Every day parents spend time with their children physically, but they are included into it less emotionally. Daily communication is an important component in the emotional development of the child. Everyday interaction develops and enriches the vocabulary of children. Children remember much better when they hear living language, rather than records on the video. More and more researches confirm the importance of conversation. Language is the single best sign of academic achievement and the key to strong language skills are free discussions between children and adults.
As one study shows, children who participated in daily communication and received answers to all the questions they were interested in at the age of two knew two times more words than those who did not have such a communication.
Another study confirmed that children remember much less if their mother during homework breaks from time to time for a phone call or answers the messages. Problems arise when the emotional information system of communication between a child and an adult that is extremely important for early development is interrupted by a message in the chat.
Today, when smartphones have become an indispensable part of adult and children's life, it is very important to find time to communicate with your children. Try not just to listen to your children, but to hear them! Let there be a rule in your house: “No smartphones at the table” And every time during breakfast or supper talk to each other! Take an hour to talk with the kids and answer all their questions. And when you are doing your homework, turn on the "Flight mode" option on your smartphone.
Chat with children every day. Let their questions be always more important for you than a message from virtual friends!