Oct 10, 2011

So What is Wrong With a Child Using a Computer All Day Anyway?

Are you one of these parents who get annoyed because your child or children are sitting on the computer, online, all day? Do you think they could be better using their time, working, earning a living, or even doing something more beneficial with their lives? If that is the case, this article is for you. I would like you to stop and think about what you are saying, and what they are doing. Are they sitting there for 10 hours a day, staring at that screen like idiots, costing you, an arm and a leg in computer repairs, upgrades and always needing something new? Maybe, it is you, who needs a rethink? Let’s take a look at what is really going on…

· Creating A Work Ethic. 10 hours a day is not an exaggeration. Come to think of it, most adults can’t even do that at work with the intensity of your 8 year olds. Will they not be sitting at a desktop or laptop, or whatever it will be by then, and working for 10 hours a day when they are adults? You could see this as they are effortlessly doing what most adults find as a challenge on a daily basis. And, they are not even getting paid for it.

· Sitting Alone? How many people do you think they are communicating with everyday when they are sitting there alone? It is many more than you could imagine. For them, they are not sitting there alone. When you sit and watch the TV, you are sitting there alone. They are communicating, sharing, collaborating, creating and learning about so many things all day long. For them, to be taken away from the computer, is like being taken out of the playground. Then, they will certainly feel alone. Social media has changed the way we do everything on the internet. There is little we do alone anymore. Your children are connected when they are sitting there ‘alone’. They are sharing ideas, and investigating future possibilities.

· Should You Complain? Sure, kids need to be active during the day. Just like you should be. Are you kicking your staff out of their seats during the day in the office, and telling they need to get outside? Exercise is crucial for growing children. Just like their use of the computer. Managing that is what is necessary. They should have a couple of hours playing outside. But you also need to be realistic. How can a game of bat and ball compete with choice, information, sharing and options they have when they are online.

· Never Hear Parents Complain When the Money Comes. It was only late last year that a 14 year old boy, with no training, education, mentoring, or advice, on how to build a iPhone game application that went to the top of the iPhone app charts. He built it himself. At 99 cents a download (minus the 30% Apple takes), over two million downloads in the first month earnt him a tidy sum.

Your children need to use the computer more than you needed to use a pen and paper. There is no way anyone can tell them how to do it. There is no real manual for learning how to use an online computer in today’s world. The future is here and now. This is the way the world is. People don’t share like they used to. Today, we are all plugged in. You should be encouraging them. You don’t know what it will lead to. And as it happens, they are the ones giving you computer support when you have a problem. The stereotype that sitting in front of a screen all day is stupid came from your parents, when they were complaining about you watching television. That was meant be useless too. Even though you have learnt more from the Discovery Channel than you ever learnt in school.


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