With technology very firmly part of a children’s life in 2019, this year is set to see yet another rise in tech-related toys being given on Christmas Day. From the pre-school child to the teenager, it seems that technology has infiltrated almost every area of a modern children’s life. But whilst there is a positive role for having technology around us on a daily basis, should we be worried that today’s child is growing up to be over reliant on toys and gadgets that can lead to minimal interaction with others?
Phones, tablets and social media platforms are very much part of the modern teenager’s life. Go to a party were teenagers are, and there is a high probability that whilst they are together physically in a group, they will be still interacting with others who are not present. Add to this the role that social media has to play regards children believing they have to be perfect to be successful, and it is little wonder that mental health issues in children have risen dramatically in recent years. Anxiety, depression and OCD are commonplace in not only today’s secondary school classroom, but increasingly at primary school level too.
So just how do we change the way that childhood seems to be going and return to a time where people had no choice but to socialise and focus on each other?
- Whilst trying to limit your child’s tech time may seem a big ask, try doing this in smaller stages where they perhaps have half an hour on and half an hour off.
- Exercise and being outdoors have a positive effect on mental health. Even if it’s asking them to walk the dog or simply going shopping, normal social interaction is good for us and should be built into any child’s routine.
- Food and a healthy diet are crucial to brain development and positivity. Encourage your child to make healthy food choices, perhaps getting them involved in the cooking process to give them something to do that isn’t tech related.
Try using tech in the background, for example letting them use the tablet to research a homework topic but then ensuring that they don’t continue to contact friends after.