I had visited a friend who is a speech therapist in the Atlanta area and as usual, we share some of the common problems that we are seeing with parental interactions and it's effects on their children. What we have noticed most is the unsurmountable (and perhaps inevitable) effects technology has had on their children.
Unlike the generation that many individuals have grown up with, the role of technology is found to have more negative effects when children have "early exposure". I've seen parents who have eliminated televisions from their child's bedrooms and have replaced them with tablets. I've also seen children who spend hours in the car in complete silence as they listen in on their parents having "conference calls" or talking to anyone and everyone - except their own children. The most extreme cases are when children who I've seen work with other providers who need to be coddled, prodded, or grounded from the devices that are an extension of their hands.
Technology is used as a device that is to augment processes that were very time consuming and is also used to allow people access to information that they were unable to obtain before. When children see what their parents are doing, they naturally (for the most part) want to imitate their mom and dad. When they see mom angry after talking to someone on the phone - they imitate this action on their play dates. If the dad has shown his short fuse because the babysitter/nanny failed to show up on time, the child (or children) react in the same way. Every morning, if mom has her daily call with grandma about the gossip for the day, the children find in no way, shape, or form is it not normal for them to "tune other people out" when they are on their iPad watching YouTube or Minecraft videos for hours at a time.
I'm concerned for the welfare of these children. There are times where parents would get in trouble for not being "home" for their children if they are under the age of 11 and did not have supervision. Is having your child babysat for three to four hours a day by complete strangers on the internet classified as "abandonment"? Don't get me wrong - I love technology, and if it was not for technology, I would not have the ability to learn, synthesize and share my interests and hobbies but - I'm an adult and I've had to learn discipline by understanding what moderation is and knowing how to prioritize. When a child is left alone to watch you use your technological devices, what do you expect them to be?
Are you a good role model by leading by example?
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