Do you feel like you and your children are part of a very large digital experiment? An experiment that you won’t know the results of until it’s too late?
I’m sure that through the ages there have always been concerns about how the ‘modern’ world is affecting our children - in Jane Austin’s era it was considered risky to allow a young girl to read a novel in her room on her own! Our current concerns surround our devices.
I have just heard a fascinating Radio 4 programme entitled ‘Why Can’t Our Children Talk?’(available on the BBC Sounds app) where teachers and parents gave sobering accounts of children starting reception class with a limited language ability. The causes of this are attributed to a number of possible factors: there are issues around parents and children not engaging with each other around a meal table; families spending time in different rooms on a variety of devices; cash-rich/time-poor families who are too busy to interact and of course screen time is seen as a highly significant factor.
The screen factor isn’t just about children but also their parents. There was a survey done at the beginning of this year asking children what New Year’s Resolution they would make for their parents, I was shocked to see that a staggering quarter of the children said they would like their parents to reduce the time they spend on their mobile phones! I was surprised to hear that there are schools with notices around the school gate at pick up time saying:
‘Greet your child with a hug not a mobile phone.’
Many of us are struggling to fit everything into our lives but the latest research seems to show that prioritising interaction with our children is incredibly important.
I designed my activity bags with that very purpose in mind: a den-making kit to get out into the woods, on the beach or the local park to build a den together; how about the bug hunting kit to help you build in a little time to discover some mini-beasts together? Have a look over at my webstore for other ideas and activities.
I asked number one son what New Year’s Resolution he’d make for me, he said I should learn how to do a tail-whip on his scooter! Seriously? It would’ve been easier to reduce time on my mobile phone!