She is only three years old, she is sitting at the table ready to have her lunch and, as company, she has in front of her a tablet with her favorite cartoons. Bon appetit! Of course, the little girl is in no hurry for lunch, and her mother holds her mouth and threatens her in every way. What is the child’s fault that the attraction of watching her favorite videos is greater than eating quietly?
I saw this scene these days, at a children’s hospital in the capital, where during lunch, a mother put her cartoons on the tablet in front of her plate of food. Of course, the girl chose what was in her field of interest and not the diet that was offered to her for health reasons.
When the computer replaces the parent…
If the parent puts the child in front of a robot to calm him down for a while, the child gets to use this “educational tool” excessively. We have seen parents who use words to educate their children, and we have seen parents who entrust their children’s education to state-of-the-art information technology. In the first case, children live in the real world and have a high index of intelligence, while the latter end up living in a virtual world, being detached from reality and deprived of the opportunity to interact with the environment in which they were created.
Children need to be taught how to live, they feel safe when given the right direction:
“Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6 NASB)
Education is not inherited, it is learned
Man is not born educated. Education, like wisdom, is acquired over time through the involvement of parents, teachers, and mentors.
“Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of discipline will remove it far from him.” (Proverbs 22:15 NASB)
Children say what they hear and do what they see. In this regard, healthy teaching will protect children from outside bad influences.
“Listen to your father who begot you, And do not despise your mother when she is old. Buy truth, and do not sell it, Get wisdom and instruction and understanding. The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, And he who sires a wise son will be glad in him. Let your father and your mother be glad, And let her rejoice who gave birth to you. Give me your heart, my son, And let your eyes delight in my ways. ” (Proverbs 23: 22-26 NASB)
Whatever a man sows, this he will also reap
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” (Galatians 6: 7 NASB)
We humans want to make minimal investments and get maximum results. It is the same with children: we want to see in our children a pleasant behavior and we ask for a correct education when we did not spend enough time in discussions on the basic topics of life. Moreover, children who are not invested in early end up embarrassing their parents and making a bad name for them.
“A foolish son is a grief to his father And bitterness to her who bore him.” (Proverbs 17:25 NASB)
“The rod and reproof give wisdom, But a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.”(Proverbs 29:15 NASB)
Timely disciplined children become a source of joy for their parents.
“Correct your son, and he will give you comfort; He will also delight your soul.” (Proverbs 29:17 NASB)
Harmful consequences for the child’s brain
Passive attitude towards life – children are satisfied with the sensations offered by virtual images to the detriment of exploring the environment (after a long viewing there will be a tendency to remain in the same state of passivity or non-involvement in knowing the real world);
Limiting the curiosity so necessary to the process of knowledge;
The phenomenon of dissociation – withdrawal in the virtual world, when the child suffers a trauma or feels stressed instead of benefiting from a healthy healing process;
The tendency to internalize, isolate, lack empathy;
Inability to manage on his own.
Researchers point out that there may be problems with the development of brain structures; the left hemisphere of the brain, whose activity is affected by watching television, does not develop properly, which causes deficiencies in logical and analytical thinking and in speech.
Specialists recommend that children not be left in front of the TV until the age of two, and after this age that their time spent in front of the screens be limited by one, at most two hours a day. Children need to be educated in the idea of self-control of behavior and balance in this regard.
Alternatives for children
Dialogue with parents is one of the most beneficial experiences for the child and for language learning, but also as a first pathway to knowledge;
Offering unconditional love and as often as possible;
Quality time spent with parents, through games and educational activities;
Outdoor time, walks, excursions;
Exposing the child to books as varied as possible so that he learns the love for reading, for knowledge;
Limiting the time spent in front of the screen;
Involvement of the child in household chores when the parents are busy with them (eg for a small child when the mother is cooking, a Learning Tower – a kind of high chair in which the child can look at what the mother is doing or even play with different food is ideal to keep him busy);
Offering their own model as parents (it is good for parents to give up most of the TV or computer in the presence of children).
Children are fascinated by image and sound, and discernment appears much later. Therefore, those who must protect them from these dangers are the parents, they are the real guides in the education of children and undeniable landmarks in their lives.
Translated by Olya Trikolich