Screens have become so ingrained in society taking over every type of interaction and experience in life that even young medical students hoping to become successful doctors some day are experiencing the side effects.
Recent comments by Roger Kneebone, professor of surgical education at Imperial College London, said that a decline in hands-on creative subjects at school and practical hobbies at home means that students often do not have a basic understanding of the physical world. All this seems to have happened with more and more hours being spent with students engaged in virtual and simulated training experiences.
There are real consequences stemming from young people no longer engaging in hobbies and activities that no longer require manual dexterity and dealing with 3D surfaces of different textures.
Young children need to learn to manipulate things with their hands, build their confidence with creating and forming materials to their will. All of this builds their manual dexterity essential for making their way through life and to achieve their goals and interests as they grow. The consequences of taking away the ability to develop fine motor skills can be seen above.
The more immediate consequences of lack of strength and dexterity in young hands is causing young children to struggle with school. Not being able to write, hands that can't write legibly or long enough to complete an exam or to do art assignments. Occupational therapists can attest to the rise in younger children coming to them to overcome these challenges.
What can you do as a parent to prepare your child for a rewarding and successful life with the ability to come to grips with the world around them, being able to write, sew, paint or create something with their own hands? The best start is to not introduce screens till as late a stage as possible, next is to give your children toys and arts and crafts goods which encourage touching, changing and moving.
If your child is already exposed to unlimited screen time, its time to get it under control, find replacement activities for screen time, encourage time away from the screen and enforce and reward screen time limits.
Pixel Pounds can help you to reward limited screen time usage as well as enforce the healthy limits that you set.