We all know that technology has changed our lives and changed the world into a global village. But we need to stop sometimes to think that have we grown so technologically advanced that we have forgotten real life interactions and real people? We all know that children usually have low attention spans. But what about our adults? In a recent study Swedish parents admitted that use of technology created a gap in interpersonal relationship with their children. The kids complained that their parents spent too much time with their gadgets (devices)
Technology on one hand has made life simpler. We are more connected than ever. We can carry our work home and home to work. But somewhere down the lane this has become an intrusion to life. The boundaries of work time and family time have disappeared. Parents are so busy checking their work emails at home that they are unable to have a conversation with their kids. Experts are trying to understand the emotional impact that it will have on the kids. Parents are so wrapped up with their technology that they are guilt of not spending enough time with their kids, which is vital for their growth and development.
Roland Sennerstam a Swedish pediatrician believes and speaking about on the issue with The Gaurdian says “Of course it will affect their emotional development, I sometimes see children tapping their parents on the back to get attention, but the parents give them no time.”
He also further states that I encourage parents to use language during their daily activities, and give their children new words all the time. If parents are more interested in using their mobile phones, I think it will have a bad effect on the language development of their children.
The fact of the matter is that lives have changed a lot in the last two decades or so. The sizes of houses have grown bigger and the size of the family has reduced. This means children as well as well parents can retreat to any corner of the house without being disturbed. The pace of life as well as the amount of school time, schoolwork and extra-curricular activities that children spend their time on is already a lot. If you add technology to the mix of things, the situation really gets a lot more complicated. Parents and children have no time to have decent conversation with each other. Then the child gets used to this way of BEING. This is very detrimental to the child.
There are some interesting facts with regard to this. A study done in Sweden indicated that children complained parents did not find enough time to spend with them and could not give them undivided attention and listen to what they had to say. The parents have also admitted that they have lost track of their child when going for a walk or while trying to watch them play because they were too busy looking into their smartphones or tablets. This really creates a distance between the parents and kids. It’s really important that parents spend some quality time with their kids and communicate with them. Parents as it is have very limited time with their kids growing up in the western society as children usually tend to move out of their homes at the age of 18. The amount you communicate with your kids and the quality of time that you spend with them is of paramount importance in these formative years. These form the building blocks in the personality and characteristics of the child.
There are simple things that you could do while talking to your kids. Make sure you give them undivided attention while talking to them. Keep everything away for the moment or keep a device free time where you are strict with yourself and are sure not to use technology at that time, as it is allocated family time. Make sure you listen to your kids to understand what they say rather than to respond. Many parents don’t listen the right way. They are always thinking about what their response is going to be to their child. While thinking this way the lose out on listening. Parents need to understand what their kids are trying to say. Sometimes just listening is important and that is what your child needs. Avoid multitasking especially in front of your children. Young children have impressionable minds and ape their parents. Make sure you’re not stirring the soup and reading a book on your iPad at the same time. The child will look to do something similar and talk to you while he is playing on his handheld. So make sure to spend some time with your children rather than staring into a screen all day. You will get to know them better and they will in turn get to know you and these are the memories you will cherish. It will also take your children a long way and help to build them up. They will grow up to be confident social people who will be ready to face any challenge as you would have provided them with a sense of self-worth and security.