Being a parent is not an easy task. You are often tired of handling your child and to keep them busy, you hand them a smartphone in which they continuously play games. Then you yell at them for using smartphones all the time, but aren’t you and we as parents partly responsible for it?
Several shocking statistics are screaming at us how gadgets and technology have infiltrated the lives of children so much that now removing it from their lives is a herculean task. Gadgets are now stuck with children like how we used to be stuck with TV back in the day. Technology has transformed the world but with every generation, it is getting worse.
Let me share some of the stats that I came across. In India, around 83% of children of age 10 to 14 years use smartphones which is 7% above the international average of 76%. This average alone speaks to the intensity of smartphone access among children. In a US survey, around 60% of parents stated that their children began interacting with smartphones when they were only 5 years old.
The more we are driving towards technology, the more harm it can cause. Exposing children to an excessive amount of screen time is not good for their eyes and their mind as well. Screens slow down the concentration span of kids and stiffen creative thinking among children. Creative activities like playing with dough, building robots, building blocks, and crafting all take a backseat when screens are in front. It also interferes with social skills. Sometimes kids are involved in screens so much that they never learn how to behave socially.
All these aspects affect the mental health of children drastically. Technology has been a boon to mankind but its excessive use is deteriorating the future generation. According to a survey, over 50% of lifetime mental illness cases start at an early age of 14 years, and technology being a major part of teenagers’ lives is a red flag.
This is an alarming issue that we often tend to ignore for our convenience. However, as parents, you can always do better for your child’s development. STEM Learning is an underrated concept especially when it comes to young kids in the age group 3 years to 15 years as they hear this as a as a career option after they graduate from school.
STEM Learning with a practical approach help children to enhance their resilience, accept failure and start working towards it, encourage them to experiment and apply their minds by creating innovative gadgets on their own. At the end of the day, they feel proud of creating a gadget or an electronic item on their own that they only saw in a store.
In my long career in the education sector, I have seen that children learn better by doing rather than mugging things from textbooks. That’s when I discovered that there is a diverse collection of Do-It-Yourself STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) educational toys in the market that gives STEM Learning a practical approach. It develops crucial skills for children like cognitive skills, problem-solving skills, innovation & so much more. These toys also help students learn futuristic concepts like robotics, automation, coding, and artificial intelligence by developing their toys.
Giving your children a STEM-Based DIY Toy instead of a smartphone can do wonders and it is a proven fact. According to NCPCR (National Commission for Protection of Child Rights) study, about 59.2% of children in India use smartphones only for instant messaging and only 10% of them use them for learning. So why not train them in something useful that will shape their career?
STEM Learning pushes children to tap their hidden talents and use their vivid imagination into creating and implementing their knowledge and skills in real-life.
This World Mental Health Day, bring upon a change in your child’s life that will help them build a bright future ahead and sharpen their minds.
– Deepti Sharma- Director- ThinkerPlace