Harmful Impact of Excessive Usage of Gadgets

zeeschool-blog

 

Gadgets can be classified as labour-saving or amusement devices. Useful as they are, gadgets are increasingly being regarded as instruments of large-scale change in modern society--changes that may not necessarily be regarded as good or desirable.

In the olden days, women had to walk long distances to fetch potable water from a distant water source; now they use municipal water supplied through pipelines. We washed our clothes by hand; now we use the washing machine. We used to climb stairs; now we use the lift. We used to walk, now we depend on mechanised transport. As a message circulating on a popular messaging service put it recently, 'these days, people drive down to the gym to ride the bicycle.'

Today's children are amazed when their parents tell them that they did not have a television until they were in their late teens or doing a school project meant going to the library and doing hours of research by referring to as many book as the librarian would permit. The kids are even more impressed when they are told calling your aunt in the neighboring town required 'booking a call' and waiting for the network to be ‘free’ for the call to go through. The younger generation just cannot imagine a world without the internet or that one cannot perform a task without a gadget!

As you can see, gadgets have helped hardworking women to save on time and provided them with ready access to clean water. On the other hand, overuse of gadgets has rendered us physically inactive. A logical consequence of the gadget-induced inertia is poor health and stunted growth--both physical and mental--in children. And this is worrying.

Well, like everything else in life, there are two aspects to the use of gadgets--their use is a necessity to live in a modern society, and their misuse is a real concern. The internet, ironically, is awash with articles, blogs and films depicting the havoc electronic gadgets are wreaking on young minds. As parents, we could not agree more. Let us list out some of the ill-effects of gadget over-indulgence both on children and grown-ups:

Health Concerns: The physical inactivity is the primary factor responsible for increased instances of hypertension and diabetes even in young children.

Social Concerns: Human interaction is conducted virtually, eliminating the need for face-to-face meeting. The fallout is social awkwardness and isolation among children.

Developmental Concerns: The ability to think clearly and coherently is what sets humans apart from others. Overuse of gadgets stifles creativity in children.

To summarize, use of gadgets is not the problem, but their overuse or misuse is. Parents need to encourage their children to walk more, watch TV less, use mobile phones sparingly, read more books, take up a hobby such as gardening, play outdoor games when they feel the need for recreation and entertainment. And finally, we adults must set our children an example by following the same rules that we have set for them.

 

Value Education and Parenting - Importance of Inculcating Right Values in Children

We often find ourselves vulnerable to enticements and temptations. The true test of our integrity is dependent on how our core set of values inculcated by our parents and nurtured by our teachers can withstand the challenges posed by our environment.

For example, most of us are law-abiding citizens. But, many of us will admit to driving down a one-way street in a moment of weakness only to end up running into a police officer.

Oh, the ignominy!

Moral of the story is, our core set of values are non-negotiable and we must remain true to ourselves regardless of the circumstances.

Our education begins from the day we are born. We continue to learn all our life, with parents and educators sharing the great responsibility of shaping our future.

The world around us is changing rapidly with the advancement in technology and we must adapt ourselves to our new environment. However, it is equally important to preserve our core value system. Teachers and parents need to work together to shape the youth of today into responsible citizens of tomorrow.

Incorporating value education in schools and greater involvement from parents could provide the answers to the issues like social alienation and antisocial behaviour faced by our society.

School environment is ideal for developing traits like growth mindset in children. Let's see what other values children can develop in school with the help of their teachers:

  • Creativity: Encouraging children to be creative boosts their sense of self-worth.

 

  • Collaboration: Teamwork is the ability to work across barriers and is a highly valued quality in the 21st century work culture.

 

  • Growth mindset: A ‘fixed’ mindset makes children believe their talent is a fixed trait, whereas a growth mindset encourages them to further develop that talent.

Home environment provides a natural space for parents to inculcate values like compassion in children. Let's see how it can benefit a child's growth:

  • Family Values: Spending more time with children is a great way to teach them the importance of family life.
  • Compassion: Teaching children to have concern for all living things goes a long way in making the world a better place.
  • Sharing: Teaching children the joy of sharing with the less fortunate is a great way to get them to place others’ interests before their own.

 

Finally, children may not always be forthcoming with their problems. For this reason, it is important to create a support system based on value education and responsible parenting to help them deal effectively with their anxieties and concerns.

Festivals Food and Family

Most parents have two preoccupations: the first is to keep their children out of mischief; and the second is to ensure the children eat well and eat right.

Children typically have short attention spans. Keeping them interested in any activity for long periods of time is an art and requires ingenuity and patience on the parents' part. And keeping children away from unhealthy food and persuading them to eat right requires a miracle!

Celebration of festivals is a family affair in India and food plays an important role in the festivities, and Navratri is no exception.

Navaratri ('nine nights' in Sanskrit) is a festival dedicated to the Hindu deity Durga, and celebrated over nine nights, during which the goddess is worshipped in nine forms. The tenth day is referred to as Vijayadashami or "Dussehra."

So why not combine the two goals this season to keep your kids engaged? First, let us look at some simple recipes for you to try out with your children. It is important for you to supervise your kids’ activities in the kitchen at all times.

Since our main objective is to involve children to help us around the kitchen, let’s keep our recipes simple. (Source: http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/)

  1. Banana Milkshake: Simple, yet delicious and healthful. Blend bananas, vanilla and coconut milk in the blender. Add sugar (optional) and sprinkle cardamom powder on top.
  2. Sweet Lime (Mosambi) Juice: Slightly labour-intensive, but useful to get the children to help you peel and remove the seeds from the fruit. Blend the fruit in a juicer, add honey or sugar, add ice cubes and serve.
  3. Cucumber Raita: Chop or grate the cucumber, add it to the beaten curd, and garnish the mixture with coriander or mint leaves.

The essence of celebrating festivals is to strengthen family bonds. Festivals are also a great time to teach our children the importance of money and the joy of lending a helping hand in household chores.

Grocery shopping with your children is a great way to teach them about the value of money. Getting them to help you around the kitchen will help them to learn about the importance of teamwork.

Finally, children expect their parents to spend quality time with them and they consider parental attention as the greatest gift they could ever hope to receive.

Mount Litera Zee school wishes you a happy Navratri. May you be blessed with a life full of happiness and good fortune.