By: Fizza Wajid
Karachi: “It feels great when my kid operates touch screen devices but …why he doesn’t respond well to grasp things or play with his toys?”
Mostly, families around the world used different devices to be updated socially with the people in family or at work. Children of those families, usually, are more prone to play with iPad or other gadgets, instead of playing with toys and seeking for colors of life. Parents are also the major contributors to dwell their child towards technology dependency due to their own busy schedule. Researches proved that the children played with the toys like building blocks or match the shapes are more prominent in their motor and developmental skills.
Motor skills enable the children to grasp different objects and help them to grip pencil for writing while the mental development involves in innovation and techniques to perform different task. Now a day’s numerous children fail to perform the motor abilities to play with blocks or hold the puzzles due to a “habit” to use tablet or cell phones. The kids aged only three or four can swipe a screen enormously because it just required a touch and provides instant response with vibrant colors however those kids have less to almost zero expertise in their fingers of fine or gross motor skills due to the use of smart phone or tablet for hours.
Being a physiotherapist, I have assessed many kids with inability to grasp things, grip a pencil or holding scissors for cutting, while their parents gladly talk about their usage of tablets or touch screen devices. In addition to this they were also in lack of prolong focus and attention, while writing or doing motor skill task, which required effort and probably does not give an instant reward.
Researchers draw vigilance that numerous students are not able to finish typical pen and paper exam on the grounds. Their memories had been dissolved by over exposure to screen-based innovation and are normally incapable to reflect what they ought to learn from their textbooks or their intellect. This deterioration of motor and talent skills is having a genuine impact on kid’s social and physical development. Moreover they are also in lack in confidence as well as social coordination among other students, as they spend more time in using tablet or playing games on it.
With the flow of technology and marketing criteria many day care centers or educational institutes preferring to induce the usage of tablets or other gadgets for teaching and learning purpose. However children have no manipulative aptitudes to play with building blocks and parents gladly talk about their usage of gadgets. This also includes the drawback of modern parenting style that they are more engaged in their social or official activities rather than to spent time with kids and cherish them. These strategies might lead their business growth of institutions with less time consumption but not actually beneficial for kids or students because learning comes from experiences, innovations and developing ideas.
It is our responsibility to verify that the technology should be utilized sensibly and timely among children and students should not get fixated and hostile to social practices. Parents should spend more time with them in playing and help them for learning new experiences. Provide toys which help them to develop their intellect in addition to motor skills. It has been proved from the studies that kids should not use these devices for more than 2 hours a day or 5 hours a week. It’s good that new generation has more developed technology to use but technology itself developed by human skills and innovations.
Health care professionals should take a step forward to encounter these issues for the progressive growth of our children in terms of skills and intellect. Student development should be constructed as productive building with skilled blocks. Parental counseling, educational sector as well as the care takers of a child should encourage keeping a vigilant eye over their skills and development and providing them a ground for learning new experiences and social interaction.
The writer is a physiotherapist.