They are called digital natives, they are the children of today, born and raised on bread and technology. But if on the one hand this is a fortune, on the other hand there are pitfalls.
In particular, smartphones and tablets should be “administered” with care because, among other things, they risk to disadvantage the creativity that, although innate, needs to be cultivated daily. However, preventing children from using these means is not the solution, because today’s world is full of technology. The Internet is now part of everyday life, often in schools and at work.
What we as parents should do, according to experts, is to teach children to use it constructively, providing them with an ad hoc education that makes them more aware of the pros and cons. Otherwise, technology risks turning from a cultural revolution into a dependency, given its very high persuasive power.
The vast amount of information available on the web, and the rapidity of access to it, contribute to this dependence. Because children, as well as adults, get used to getting everything right away, becoming impatient in the face of processes that take time. In this way, a distance is created between the child and the real world, in which the “fruits” ripen slowly and the results can arrive even after long years of waiting. On the other hand, even nature teaches us to wait, since it takes whole seasons for a seed to produce a plant.
If children do not experience other forms of production, the hyper-velocity of the net can provoke, therefore, a sense of frustration towards the processes, slower, than the real, to the detriment also of the creativity. All this can also have repercussions on their ability to accept disappointments, delays and obstacles. On the contrary, doing activities that involve waiting teaches children to develop patience, to endure small frustrations, to take responsibility, to struggle to achieve something, thus fostering tenacity and will.
So what should parents actually do? Avoid that their children spend too many hours with smartphones and tablets, offering alternatives just as inviting, but more “real”. Cultivating a small garden or a domestic vegetable garden, reading picture books together, drawing: all activities that require not only a physical contact with the world, but also creativity, patience and determination to achieve a good result.