Sunday, 24 April 2016

Is Technology Making Children Miss Out On Childhood ?

As a child I think that I had a pretty good childhood, I grew up in a nice house in a nice area with my mum, dad and younger brother. We had yearly holidays to places like Florida, we had lots of family days out and I remember spending long summer days playing outdoors with my friends and riding pony's. I was completely carefree, even into my teenage years. 

As I had such a lovely childhood I have found since becaming a parent myself, that I want to give my own children a similar childhood to my own. I have definitely carried on old family traditions and parent in a similar way that my own parents did with me.

laptop and tablet

However being a parent in this day and age seems a lot different to my own upbringing back in the 80's and 90's, especially where my teen is concerned. When I was her age their was no smart phone or ipads, no social media or You Tube, it was dial up Internet that no-one use to go on. If I wanted to see my friends I would go and knock on them and spend time with them, rather than talking to them on facetime or snapchat. 

I often wonder if all these advances in technology has made childhood better or worse for my own children ? In some ways I think that it is better as the advances in technology have made life much easier for a lot of people, let's face it I wouldn't have been able to set up this blog back then for a start. I happily let my daughter have a iphone as it means I can find out where she is when she is out with her friends, or if she is going to be late home from school. 

However I am sure we have all seen those memes going around social media, of  lists of things people growing up in the 80s and 90s experienced. Such as playing out until the street lights came on, knocking on your friends instead of texting, spending time playing outdoors instead of being stuck in front of a screen, only having four TV channels instead of 400 etc.

This got me thinking are children nowadays growing up too fast and is technology having a negative impact upon there childhood ? A recent survey from My Voucher Codes asked parents about this. They found that 57 % of parents questioned thought smart phones and social media make children grow up to quickly, this is something I often worry about myself. Over a third of parents (32%) also worry that their children rely on technology too much. 

The flip side is that 59 % of those interviewed also thought that technology can also offer more opportunities for their children. I agree with this as my teen is defiantly better with technology than I am, despite running a blog I am a complete technophobic as I am totally clueless. 

I do think that times have changed and that childhood is a lot different these days than it was when I was younger. I think maybe now I am a parent myself I worry a lot more about lots of things and I do probably look back on my own childhood with rather rose tinted glasses at times, my dad probably remembers it differently than myself and my brother do. In someway's I do think that children do miss out on a lot of things that I experienced as a child, but at the same time they have lots of opportunities that we did not. Times are changing and as parents we just need to change and adapt with them. 

This is a sentiment echoed by Mark Pearson of My Voucher Codes who says "It's easy to look back on the past with rose tinted glasses, viewing your own upbringing as a simpler, freer time. Advances in technology can be viewed as a good or bad thing" I think this statement sums it up well as their is pros and cons of growing up in a digital age.

 Ultimately though I think it is up to us as parents to try and make the best decisions for are children and encourage them to have a carefree childhood and get outdoors whilst still learning about technology. Times are changing and as parents we need to change the way we parent to reflect that and to do are best to make our children have the best childhood possible.

 If we are lucky they might turn around in 30 years time and say they want there own children to have a childhood like the one that we gave them. 

1 comment:

  1. That's one of the reasons why we only allow the Ipad over the weekends and with my little girl, if you gave her a chance to choose between playing out or doing something on the Ipad, she'd always choose the outdoors :) x


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