Advice Column, Education, Health, Parenting

Screen Addiction: parenting in the age of a digital era

No other topic could create a catastrophe of opinions, judgements, beliefs and arguments as parenting. Add technology in the mix and you’ve created world war 3.

According to a survey conducted by internet security company AVG in the US, 92% of children have an online presence by the time they are 2 years old. These days’ children learn to swipe a screen before they are able to hold crayons. The digital revolution of the past 2 decades has induced a moral panic in parenting.

When a child goes on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, parents have certain unanswered questions such as:

Are our kids aware of the privacy settings on social networking sites? Do they adhere to them?

What kind of online games are our kids playing? Are they playing the right ones or ones that are not suitable for their age/ taste/ social-cultural backgrounds?

How much digital engagement is enough and how much is too much?

Though a child’s online presence allows young people access to invaluable resources and learning opportunities, it also brings about parenting challenges such as cyberbullying and filtering age-appropriate content. Parents play a vital role in teaching the children practice of “netiquette” outside of the classroom, all these require that the parent themselves be digitally literate.

A digitally illiterate parent poses a risk to the privacy and safety of children. A tech naive parent may in a moment of some parental pride, post content(pictures, videos, information) of their child exposing them to the bad world of cybercrime. So we often ask ourselves which of these 2 parents is the perfect parent?

Is there such a thing as correct parenting? Especially in this technologically advanced era we live in? And how much technology is too much technology? What happened to the good old days when kids played outside instead of staring into their phones and the television during their school holidays?

Being a parent is hard and raising children in a digital era is even harder. Gone are the days of kids just being kids, playing hopscotch in the backyard, catching a ball in the garden or planning how they are going to build that tree house. These days playing involves Fifa and a ps4 or perhaps

and X Box or candy crush. What happened to good old fashion childhood games our parents used to play?

At Sugar Bay we encourage children to hold on to their childhood as much as possible, kids get to be outdoors the whole day engaging in activities such as kayaking, bmxing , rock climbing or they can choose to spend a relaxing day beading or baking amongst other things. These activities encourage kids to show their creative side, help them discover their hidden talents and passion and leaving a small room to be thinking about their phones.

Like our saying goes: “What we learn in fun we never forget”. Sugar Bay is much more than a luxury holiday resort. Sugar Bay ensures the personal development and growth of a child, increase self-esteem, self-confidence and independence.

Allowing campers to pick and choose from over 100 activities allows them to make decisions for themselves which encourages independence.

We understand the constant need kids have of always being on their phone, but which parent wouldn’t want their child to enjoy being a child and being outdoors in the garden like they did in their good old days.

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