Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Children and gadgets

Do children have too many gadgets or is it just 'moving with the times'? I question this with myself on a regular basis. My youngest is now 8 years old and she is desperate for an iPad but so far I (and my husband) have refused. This is not based on punishment or spite, quite the opposite; we feel she is too young.

When I was growing up, I remember playing games with my brothers in the garden. We made berry pies, built a fort and just messed around. We did not have the internet until I was older as it was not even invented on a residential scale at that time. I liked my childhood. I could not sit here and say I missed out on anything. As an adult, I feel I am a well-rounded individual (some may beg to differ) and I did not have the gadgets growing up.

My fear is - and don't take this the wrong way because I don't tarnish everyone with this brush - but some parents are getting lazy. Giving a child a tablet or computer game just to keep them quiet or out of your hair is not the answer! They could play with lego, duplo, dolls, cards and many other toys which are not only cheaper but can hold their attention for longer. I am not taking into account children with special needs because that is a totally different article.

My eldest is 16 and she got an iPad last year for the first time and I think that is about right age wise. She hasn't been deprived or missed out on anything in her life and she is still a well-rounded individual. When I see/visit some children where gadgets are their only or main entertainment, the children are rude, some arrogant and not great when they can drag themselves away from the gadget to play with my children.

Children do need to be aware of these things and how to use them because that is the way the World is going.  So just so I can be clear, children can have gadgets, but don't use them as a babysitting service. Used responsibly including other outlets in their life, will enable your child to grow up as a well-rounded individual.