When Technology Fails

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5 Reasons to Un-Automate Your Kids

by Renee Bedford

The miracle of modern science is fast making its way into every phase of our lives from processes requiring delicate operations to simple daily communication; everything is rife with the latest in technological advancements. It’s come to a point that we, as human beings, have come to rely on automations and technology to such an extent that we’ve forgotten how we were ever able to survive without it!

kid_on_cell_phoneCase in point: the cellular phone. There was a time when the only way for people to communicate was to send a messenger from one village to another. This of course took days, maybe even months and more often than not, the message was still lost in translation. Then came the advent of letter writing, or what is now termed as “snail mail.” Though presently considered a lost art, it was formerly the desired method of expression for lovers throughout the globe. Eventually, Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone and talking across great distances became easier, likewise with the utilization of Morse code and the telegraph system and all the way to the iPhones and Blackberries of today.

It’s time to unplug

If the passage of history has taught us anything, we are capable of great feats, adapting and changing to suit the times. So there’s no excuse for us – and our children as well – to be crippled by a lack of technology. Kids, with their sponge-like brains, quickly pick up on our technological attachments. And with the allure of some aspects of modern science, particularly video games, there is a danger of addiction that could very well pose a disadvantage later on in life. In light of this, it would be wise to take our children back to the grassroots of living, to teach them the joys and benefits of doing things without the help of technology. They gain a sense of independence and responsibility along the way, and here are some insight as to how:

Board Games, Not Computer Games

Old-fashioned board games are a great way to teach children about rules and how to play fairly, and of course the excitement of actually handling the game pieces teaches them great tactical, mental and social skills. Computer counterparts don’t offer the experience of playing with actual human beings and if they do, cannot simulate the actual face-to-face situation of a real game.

Books, Not E-books

Though more convenient, e-book versions don’t offer the child a chance to cultivate a tangible collection of keepsakes he/she will treasure for the rest of their life. Knowing the value of books and how to care for them will go a long way in teaching your child how to show respect and how to value other aspects of their lives. In addition, reading bound books helps improve eyesight, as compared to staring at a computer screen for a majority of the day.

Letters, Not E-mails

As previously mentioned, letter writing is considered a waning art. But it doesn’t have to be. Teaching your children how to express themselves through the written word helps to build critical thinking skills, as well as vocabulary and grammar skills. It also offers them a great way to develop their handwriting

capabilities and improves tactical capabilities and dexterity. This also serves as a way for you to introduce your children to the great men and women who expressed themselves through the written word, thus instilling within them historical value and additional education. Finally, it teaches children that feelings are more personal and heartfelt when conveyed in this way.

Sports, Not TV

The benefit of outdoor play is obvious and infinite when it comes to your children’s health. Aside from encouraging social interaction, it helps to coordinate the body and mind and facilitates muscular and skeletal growth. By improving blood flow, it helps to cultivate a good complexion, as well as increased mental capacity over time.

Cooking, Not Microwaving

Encourage your kids to participate in actual culinary preparations. The skills they build will serve them in years to come (watch Australia’s Junior Master Chef). Of course the added nutrients gained from proper food preparation are a great fringe benefit.

As keepers of the future generation, we must teach our children to remove the unseen limitations of technology. They must be able to look past convenience and see the lessons that lie in hard work and perseverance. Of course, the best way is to lead by example; and what child wouldn’t want to follow when their parents gladly lead the way?

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