Don't Allow Technology To Destroy Your Child's Social Skills
Human beings, through the invention of many new technological devices, have digitized their world and transcended the human limitations. However, we are threatening at the same time the essence of what is to be human. So, many things have changed in people’s lives under this influence of the new technological devices. While, it seems that children today are born with a ‘mobile’ in hands, they, in fact, need support and assistance from their parents and school to cope with this digital world without losing their social skills.
In this regard, Mona Elyafi in her article Hooked on Phony: Is Modern Technology Setting Us Back? argued: “Things are happening at such an accelerated pace that we're not at all changing the world for the better. Rather, it is this artificial intelligence that is changing us for the worse. Before life completely becomes just a passing blur, I suggest that we wake up and not only smell the coffee but take time to drink it, too!”
In this world of new technologies, people have become addicted to the use of technology. For instance, we have all seen kids, teenagers or ever adults who are immersed in their mobiles, computers or digital gadgets. This simply happens because communication today has become more virtual than real and in order to communicate, we have to either use a keyboard or a touch screen. So, with the majority of communication happening through social media tools, our kids have few opportunities to learn or practice the basics of a simple conversation or understand the value of human face-to-face interactions.
Parents should be very intentional and make sure to give their children the social skills they need for life and teach them the basics of good communication. Through our daily interactions, our kids can learn much about social interactions. For example, you can teach your kids how to be a good listener, respect the others, how to request something politely, when to say ‘please and ‘thank you’... etc. Mealtimes are also great moments to practice communication. You can also take your kid to the restaurant to role-play how to order a meal using a clear voice and in a polite way. You can engage them in a small talk about a topic of their interest so as to model and practice communication.
Moreover, the holiday is also a good opportunity for your children to practice their social skills. Show them how to behave in different social context and give them the key phrases they can use. Show them also how to shake hands, introduce themselves or accept compliments. Amy McCready in her article Don’t Let Technology Rob Kids of Social Skills states: “If we encourage our kids when we see them use good eye contact or gracefully accept a compliment, they’re more likely to keep up the good work in the future.”
Finally, I believe social skills are very vital for the future for our kids. So, take some time to train your child and give them opportunities to practice what they learnt. If your child spends too much time on the net, agree with them on a certain time during the day to practice these skills.