When we talk of Parent child friendship, how many of us parents are helpingour children enter a virtual world? After a certain amount of time they wouldfancy spending their time separately with their technology partner.
Technology is being used to engage children either to enhance creativity ormerely keep them busy. The world is buzzing about the transition fromblackboards, story books, puzzles and play grounds to virtual boards and cellphones, video games and computers. Are we sure technology teaches childrenanything and everything? Well, experts say a big no! “What are Parents For?”
Under the proposal, each day parents should do five tasks:
1. Read to their youngsters for 15 minutes
2. Talk to them for 20 minutes while the television is turned off.
3. Adopt positive attitudes to your children and praise them frequently.
4. Play with them on the floor for ten minutes
5. Provide a nutritious diet to aid their development.
Companies that make toys, children’s books and baby food would be encouragedto brand their products with an official logo under the proposed scheme, whichis modeled on the successful “five-a-day” fruit and vegetables dietarycampaign.
Further recommendations of the scheme are that an additional child benefitsupplement is given to the poorest 20 per cent of the population, as long asthey attend parenting classes. This is to encourage parents participating inthe classes.
Research has found that the quality of parenting and educational influencesin the early months and years of a child’s life have an overwhelming influenceon their later progress at schools and in their careers. Typically, childrenfrom the poorest families are exposed to far fewer words, are less likely toread books with their parents and eat poorer diets than their peers inwealthier homes. The result can be that children from deprived homes fail tomaster essential literacy skills and become mentally and physically unhealthy.
The children’s minister, Sarah Teather, warmly welcomed the proposals, whilecritics have branded the recommendations from the CentreForum ‘ridiculous’ andanother example of ‘nanny state meddling’. Tory MP Philip Davies said: ‘It’sridiculous. Anyone would think we have money to burn in this country. It’sanother well-meaning, but ill-thought-out, hare-brained scheme.’
Wendell Samuel, a teacher admits “With the help of wireless connectivity,I’m able to offer my students a live learning experience but alas we’ve leftbehind the touch therapy that means a lot to our student teacher relation.”