With the advent of various gadgets that seek our attention – we are spending more and more time ‘looking’ at movement on our screens versus looking up and noticing other human beings.
A recent study conducted showed how children can no longer understand a wide range of emotions on the faces of others as they are spending more time on gadgets than knowing what others are expressing.
In such an environment there is a huge lack in social skills and a decline in compassion and empathy.
With the oncoming holiday season parents are investing in buying more gadgets for their children and moving their children away from the realities of life. Children are spending more time connecting with others on cyber space rather than building friendships and relationships in person.
As a matter of fact older children use gadgets as an escape route from having to make conversation with others. On many occasions I have found children actually ‘bonding’ by playing games on their respective gadgets in the same room!
How can we then expect these children to learn ‘social skills’ and know how to empathise with others when at the basic level they cannot fathom the emotions of another person due to lack of eye contact and connection.
1) In order to rule out any issues with his/her eyes please take your child to the opthalmologist.
2) As parents you need to spend less time with gadgets and more time with connecting with your child and others around you. Keep your phone or laptop on the side when you have to respond to your child.
3) If your child sees you engrossed in your phone or laptop and answering him without looking up he will learn that, that is the way to answer others. He will role model your behaviour.
4) Ask your child if something is bothering him. Is he trying to avoid talking about something? Has he been bullied in school. Does he have problems coping at school. Is he under any kind of peer pressure?
5) Keep reminding your child that he/she needs to make eye contact with his friends in the playground. Encourage your child to say hello to others by looking at them. Do a little practice session at home before going out or before guests come home.