Mod­ern day prob­lems


Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Front Page - Kaylee Martin

Mag­gie Dent has given lo­cal par­ents a les­son on the po­ten­tially dam­ag­ing ef­fects of mod­ern life on grow­ing chil­dren.

PAR­ENT­ING author and ed­u­ca­tor Mag­gie Dent took to St Columba’s Catholic Pri­mary School in South Perth last month to give par­ents and teach­ers a les­son on the po­ten­tially dam­ag­ing ef­fects of mod­ern life on grow­ing chil­dren.

Ms Dent, an author of seven books, said the con­stant fo­cus on aca­demic re­sults and pres­sures of for­malised learn­ing from such a young age could dis­ad­van­tage chil­dren and cause them to suf­fer stress.

“The pace of life, the pres­sures of con­sumerism and the tsunami of tech­nol­ogy that has hit mod­ern fam­i­lies make it a re­ally chal­leng­ing time for par­ents and chil­dren,” she said.

“Chil­dren need time to grow at their own pace, time to ex­plore and play with­out struc­ture and time pres­sures, and with­out hav­ing screens to con­stantly dis­tract them.”

Mod­ern life was steal­ing child­hood with blame placed on the con­stant use of screens, tech­nol­ogy and so­cial me­dia and the eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble age in­ap­pro­pri­ate con­tent found on­line.

“The rise of so­cial me­dia and mobile tech­nol­ogy, the huge fo­cus on body im­age and in­creased sex­u­al­i­sa­tion are just a few things ado­les­cents have to deal with, on top of brain and body changes that come with the bumpy ride from child to adult,” she said.

But with tech­nol­ogy now be­ing al­most un­avoid­able, Ms Dent said small changes that par­ents could adopt would con­trib­ute enor­mously for chil­dren and teenagers’ abil­ity to bounce back from life’s ob­sta­cles.

“Chil­dren need plenty of lov­ing in­ter­ac­tion with sig­nif­i­cant peo­ple who care for them; enor­mous amounts of play and the op­por­tu­nity to make mis­takes and learn from them,” she said.

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