Could Gadgets Be Affecting Your Child’s Emotional Intelligence?
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Imagine being in the living room of your home, looking forward to spending some quality time with the family. However, before you are able to do so, you notice that your children are somewhat glued to the screens of their gadgets. As you try to get their attention, they shrug you off and say that they have to finish a game, a video they are watching, or chatting with their friends. Admittedly, this can also happen when you’re out and about. For example, you go to a restaurant and your kids are more focused on their gadgets than the food on their plate.
These scenarios are becoming increasingly common in households and in some of the best international schools in the Philippines. Technology is now more common and easier to use, which means children can readily grasp the basics of using it. Unfortunately, these gadgets may be causing them to lose touch with the people they are with. In turn, this is greatly affecting their emotional intelligence, social skills, and empathy.
Do you think that gadgets are playing a big part in this issue? Let’s find out.
Less Face-to-face Time
One of the biggest advantages of technology today is being able to connect and interact with many different people no matter how far they may be. Most people now have social media accounts, which help them keep track of the activities and whereabouts of their family, friends, and even get news and updates from schools and establishments.
However, due to the increasing number of people using and relying on social media, the number of interactions in real-life tends to get less and less. With devices now becoming more portable than ever, you can bring your device and check on social media anywhere you go. This causes a sense of distance due to your children focusing more on their phones, rather than the people they are with.
As a parent, it is important to keep on reminding your children about the value of genuine interaction and proper communication. They would not only need these skills at school and eventually at work, but also for fostering and keeping true friendships.
Depletion of Motivation
Motivation is usually what drives any person to complete his/her goals. The same can be said for your children. It is what encourages them to accomplish their tasks at school and at home.
However, having them glued to their gadgets’ screens will very much deplete their motivation. They will rather play video games, instead of wanting to study to pass a test. They could also neglect their household chores in favor of beating their friend’s high score on a game application.
For you to immediately rectify this, you could have a talk with your children about the proper use of technology. Educate them that there are a right time and right place for them to indulge in it.
Empathy is defined as “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.” This is one of the traits that your children need for everyday interactions with their friends, teachers, and family. It is being exercised through actual human interactions and verbal communication, which ultimately teach your children those non-verbal communication cues that help them understand the person they are talking to.
Due to the increasing prevalence and popularity of social media, more and more people interact through it. Essentially, this leads them to be exposed to different kinds of media that can be accessed through the internet. It has been reported in the United States that the empathy levels of students in their country have declined since the 1980s. Studies also show that social media plays a major role in affecting the self-esteem of students to varying degrees. The lessening amount of actual social interaction is causing more people to be more apathetic and socialize less.
In spite of these challenges that modern technology has posed to this generation of children and parents, time is on our side to develop and iron out all the wrinkles. Now is the best time for parents to teach and educate their children how to properly utilize the technology available to them – a great way to ensure that they grow up to become emotionally intelligent individuals.