Your Voice: Children, like beautiful flowers, need proper attention and care to bloom
Mobile devices seem to sap the energy from children.
When flowers have the water and sunshine they need, they are full of life and beauty.
One day, at the mall, I saw my neighbor’s son. He was crying, in a voice that could break glass. His mother was embarrassed. She took an iPad from her bag and gave it to him. He immediately changed, from sad to happy.
I see the same thing everywhere — on the beach, on the street, and even in children’s playgrounds.
Why do kids love their iPad so much?
Children are so connected to their devices that they are missing much from childhood. I remember my childhood with my family: we loved to play basketball with our father; my mother read us stories; we did crafts and made drawings.
I miss those days. It makes me sad to see how today we connect our flowers to iPads. They are missing the water and sunshine needed to bloom.
According to a recent study by the University of Michigan, parents with difficult children are more likely to give them devices to pacify them — particularly during periods of high stress, such as public outings or bedtimes.
Times have changed. Technology is everywhere. Electronic devices have many of the things that kids want — from games to cartoons, and even books (though many don’t read the books!).
I think of mobile devices as taking the energy from our children. We should be careful, or our children may become like dry and colorless flowers. But with a little effort and thoughtfulness, we can keep them nourished and entertained in other ways.
Here are some things we can try.
Play sports — or just play. This is a great way for children to make friends, build social skills, work as a member of a team, and get moving.
When children talk with us, give them our undivided attention. Put our own devices down.
Set a good example
Children learn from their parents. We should try to use devices in our own time, and keep family time precious.
When we focus on being more present for our children, the results can be amazing. Children become more social — more likely to talk and tell stories, to open up about their lives.
Giving children the love and attention they need — rather than a mobile device to keep them quiet — will help to fill them with life and beauty.
Your Voice reflects the thoughts and opinions of the writer, and not necessarily those of the publication.