from Changing Nature by April White:
"Millicent believes the world should be a certain way, and she will twist her own corner of it to suit herself with very little regard for what's actually true."
Harry Dresden: "Kids. You gotta love them. I adore children. A little salt, a squeeze of lemon - perfect."
This is disturbing.
In our Saturday paper I read:
"Digital generation five-year-olds are starting school unable to grip a pencil properly, cut with scissors or even hold a book up the right way because they are hooked on technology."
"...they are failing to gain basic motor skills."
"...many digital-age children were reaching technology milestones before they could do more traditional tasks."
"It's the modern reality, and teachers are seeing it first hand that children do not have the fine motor skills of even five years ago."
"Kindergarten teachers throughout the country say children are entering school without the necessary pencil grip and they can't manipulate scissors."
"This can hang over into primary school because they don't have the dexterity."
"Children are spending more time tapping, sliding and pinching than on what they should be doing - crumpling with paper and all the traditional things kids used to do."
So, what can we do about this? I no longer have small children at home, my kids are grown up now. And I'm rather glad they all spent lots of time with pencils, chalks, and tins of watercolour paints.
My grandchildren did the same, although they did have computers available.
One of their favourite things to do was draw huge pictures or just designs on my driveway with big fat chalks.
They did have computer time, but it was limited.
They are grown up now too, and have their own smart phones, but they also know how to write and draw using traditional methods.
I can get on my soapbox and say "Mothers, please, give your kids time with pencils, crayons and stacks of paper to draw on, write on, tear it up if they want, but get those traditional fine motor skills learnt."
But is it too late? Everywhere I go I see small children with Ipads, smartphones, instead of a good old fashioned book. Not just school age, but toddlers too.
Look around next time you're in a doctor's waiting room. How many small children are being read to by parents while they wait to see the doctor? How many have Ipads and are busy scrolling and swiping?
Is it just that parents don't have time anymore to sit and show a child how to hold a pencil?
Is it the convenience of keeping a child quiet and busy with something that moves and makes noise when fingers are touched to screens?
Is it that toddlers, babies too, see their parents and siblings with their eyes and fingers constantly tapping, swiping and demand the same? How can a sheet of paper and a fat crayon possibly compete with a shiny something that beeps and sings at you?
Sometime, somehow, a compromise must be reached, before we have a future with adults who don't know how to properly hold a pencil and sign their names.
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