Dear Readers,

Thanks for your support. My article “Why our children are so bored at school, cannot wait, easily frustrated and have no real friends?” has been read over 1.5 million times round the world. It has opened a lot of great discussions amongst parents, teachers, and professionals. 

It has been an eye-opening experience for me to realize that there are many open minded parents around the world who see the value in my perspective, have the desire to re-evaluate their beliefs of the effects of technology on their children, and are ready to adjust their parenting approaches.

 It has been great to have conversations and debates with those who have questioned my perspective. Thank you for voicing your opinions. We all learn from them.

 Some of the critics have said,

 “There have always been children with social, emotional, and academic challenges”.

 Yes, I completely agree. Definitely, there are children born with certain conditions and their challenges are neurological in nature, unrelated to technology or parenting. Unfortunately, we see more and more children whose issues are the “side effects” of modern parenting styles and technological overuse.  Interestingly, many of children’s symptoms subside once parents limit their kids’ technology use, replace it with more quality time, incorporate more physical activity, outdoor time, readjust their sleep and nutrition, and train their children to wait, be bored and do chores. (See the article for detailed recommendations)

Others have said that,

“Technology is our future and kids need to learn it early to succeed”.

 I encourage you to re-think this statement. While technology is an important tool of the future, it is critical to be cognizant about how early we introduce it to our children. As more and more research comes out on the topic, we learn that overuse of technology in early childhood can lead to brain damage. Similarly, when the child is born, we know that his entire life he will need to walk, but it doesn’t mean that we put him on his feet the moment he is born.

Why?

Because we understand that his body is not ready for walking yet and that many complex developmental processes have to occur prior to walking. The same standard should be applied to technology. The brain needs to mature first. Moreover, meaningful success in the future is not in knowing how to navigate the technological world; rather, it is in knowing how to navigate the social world.

Other critics have said,

“It is all school system’s fault”.

 I wholeheartedly agree that our kids’ educational systems are very powerful in shaping their future. Many changes need to be made at school boards in order to help today’s kids to succeed as our children are different from previous generations and require different educational approaches. Schools, however, cannot do it in isolation from parents. In the last ten years, the home environment has undergone many drastic changes making children come to school less and less available for learning. Quality time, unstructured play, movement, and responsibilities are being replaced with technological babysitters, endless fun, immediate gratification, and the absence of limits. By allowing this, we are “spoiling” our children’s brains with extremely powerful tools that rewire their brain and ultimately hurt their learning abilities. Learning is hard work. Parents are children’s first teachers in building their kids’ work ethics. If a child has never made his bed, folded his clothes, and never done anything outside of the “fun” zone, very likely his academic performance will suffer since his “workability muscle” hasn’t been strengthened. Teachers cannot satisfy our children’s endless desire for fun, immediate gratification, and high levels of stimulation.  Learning requires perseverance and an ability to function under “boredom”. We all need to work together to help our children to succeed. In this blog post, I outlined suggestions on how parents, teachers, and our policy makers can collectively help our children.

 Please keep sharing my article and continue implementing its recommendations.  It is never too late to change as our brain is a trainable muscle.  My hope is that my article will continue to generate thoughts, discussions and changes. If every parent reads it and implements at least one of the recommendations, our world would become a better place for all.

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Thank you

Victoria Prooday, OT Reg. (Ont.)
Occupational Therapist

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