Children’s growth and development is as much governed by listening, repeating and copying as it by playing and discovering through trial and error.
Many families enjoy playing with the more traditional toys we can recall from our own childhoods; train sets, kitchenettes, jigsaws, colouring books, doll’s houses and so on, but as technology evolves at such a rapid rate, it becomes second nature for children to learn, develop and grow with it.
As parents would likely agree, the concept of their child being given a lovingly hand-crafted, Scandinavian, wooden toy to play with would be a beautiful form of entertainment. However, with the introduction of highly-intuitive smart phones, children’s development and everyday interaction progresses simultaneously.
As a parent myself, I see the stark dichotomy between willing my children to play with engaging, tactile toys, scrub around in the dirt discovering new species of insects, but noticing how immensely absorbed they are with what’s available through modern phones, tablets, computers and televisions.
It is practically impossible to separate the contemporary child’s learning process with the advancement of technology. So why do we feel a pang of guilt when our children bury themselves into the ulterior reality that a smart phone allows them? Perhaps it’s the inability to carefully monitor not only the content of what they view, but the time they spend doing it.
Couple that with the fact it takes away the inherent parent-child interaction that less complex games permit, but grasping precious moments to yourself, as a parent, is an invaluable opportunity for the technology to take the place of the parent’s requirement to entertain the child. At least for as long as they choose anyway.