The way children play, learn, and interact has been dramatically changed by technology. In just 20 years, traditional games, playing outdoors, and physical connection with their environment has been replaced by a virtual world viewed on various screens and devices.
Many young children can use mobile phones and tablets better than some adults, they have become tech-savvy and that’s fantastic. Technology offers them many advantages and possibilities for their future careers and education, but parents should be aware of the impact technology use can have on child development.
The consequences of technology replacing traditional play
Using technology to play games or for learning has led to massive changes to the lifestyle of kids and is having a negative impact on child development.
Playing games outside with friends, creating things from whatever’s available, and exploring their surroundings, provides many benefits that kids are now missing out on as they spend hours sat looking at screens. The physical exercise of real play strengthens growing bones and muscles and improves cardio-vascular functions while burning calories and maintaining a healthy weight. The sedentary lifestyle of many children that spend time indoors playing games on a screen is leading to child obesity, poor physical development and serious health conditions such as diabetes in later life.
Pay attention – It’s important
Watch the face of a child when giving their attention to a video game and you’ll see a blank expression and emotionless staring. They respond automatically to the on-screen stimulus without thought and become automatons that react but don’t need to think. Extended time in this state supresses the development of creative thinking and imagination.
The type of attention children use when playing games in the real world develops learning and problem solving through creativity, reasoning, and logic. Rather than the narrow focus of attention on the predominantly visual stimulus of a screen, when kids play they become aware of their surroundings and other children. They interpret their environment using all their senses. They develop memory skills, decision making, and coordination, and they learn through creative thinking as they build new neural pathways in their brain.
Watch the face of a child when they’re giving their attention to playing a physical game or are learning through physical activity. You’ll see a range of emotions, thought processing, awareness of achievement, and best of all a smile now and then. To help your child to develop mentally and physically in the way children did before the technological era, consider the benefits of Taekwondo for kids.
The benefits of Taekwondo for kids
Taekwondo for kids is the perfect way to counterbalance their use of technology and give them the healthy physical, mental, and emotional development they need.
Traditional Taekwondo builds strength, aids flexibility, and improves cardio-vascular systems giving kids all the physical development benefits they used to get from playing. They develop balance and coordination and maintain a healthy posture that is important if they spend a lot of time sitting or slouching in a chair.
As they learn the techniques, children are challenged and stretched to achieve their potential at their own speed. They build awareness of both their surroundings and their own capabilities while being fully engaged with the lessons and the group. Your child will experience what is now called mindfulness but has been part of Taekwondo practice since it’s early ancient roots.
At Pacific Taekwondo we run classes for kids where they learn in a friendly but disciplined environment that encourages interaction, which quickly develops interpersonal and social skills and builds confidence in group situations. Plus, they will make lots of new friends.
Our qualified and experienced teachers provide a safe setting for kids to learn self-defence. We teach traditional Taekwondo in non-competitive lessons where the focus is on self-development through learning, goal setting, and achievement.
What to do now to help your child’s development
The impact of technology on children will continue to increase, and that offers many benefits for the future. For children to enjoy these benefits and prevent the negative effects of prolonged use of modern devices, you need to increase activities that help them develop through play and physical activity. To learn more about how you can give your child the opportunity for holistic development in the technological age, learn a practical form of self-defence, and to see them smile as they learn, contact Grandmaster Trevor or Master Inst Margaret at Pacific International Taekwondo. They will answer any questions and give you the opportunity to book your your child for some free trial classes. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 38899551 or mobile 0414252255