Friday, April 17, 2015

EF #15: Gadgets or Real Games?

As a new parent, I like to browse parenting articles and read parenting magazines. What I can get from most parenting media is that kids now connect a lot with technology, including during their play time. The latest, I bought a book from Parenting Indonesia magazine, titled Raising The Next Genius Part 2: Membesarkan Anak Cerdas di Era Digital. The book is a complete guide for parents about the latest technology or gadget kids may access, what parents should know, how to avoid problems, and cool apps for kids.
Wheew, I read that and feel amazed of what parents now are facing: pornography, cyber bullying, and kidnapping. Whether they give gadget or no, this danger is still around. 

Back then when I was a kid, parents had a little worry when their kids were playing. We could see kids explored their environment without supervision, walked from here to there together and played with things they found on the ground. We may still find this in rural area since they are not exposed by gadget as much as kids in the urban area.

So, can we conclude that children now play with gadgets more that they play with real friends and toys?

Well, I don’t think so. You may think that way if you live in a neighborhood where most kids are playing inside their house. Take me as an example. I was an indoor type of little girl, surrounded by toys like dolls, building blocks, books, and drawing equipments. (I wrote about 10 childhood games in this post) I played some computer games (but not Nintendo and stuff) and watched a lot of videos or laser discs. I rarely went outside since there were not many kids. I know some friends were lucky enough to have outdoor experiences at that time, played group games like lompat tali (braided elastics which we use to jump over it) or hide and seek. I played those games at school only. When was that? 1990’s.

Now, compare with my neighborhood. After school hours, children are playing together outside their house. They ride bikes, play hide and seek, football, and a lot of games they made their selves (thus the games have no names, because they made the rules directly before they play LOL). They are suburban kids and they have gadgets. They sometimes bring tablets outside but it’s only few times. They enjoy the free play more. That’s why my son likes to go outside after 3 p.m because he can feel the excitement of running around older kids who were playing, or just walked together. He likes to see photos and videos from my android, or watch TV, but it lasts only 15 minutes and he will choose the real toys.

From my description above, I can say that children games and toys from time to time are similar. It involves physical activity and creativity. When these kids get older, let’s say pre teen, it’s natural to change the games into something more suitable with their age. I started to use internet or other electronic devices more when I was teenager, to find news about boybands or fashion trend. If nowadays kids are exposed to technology earlier, I’m sure that the still like to play real and natural games. For example, kids will like to play in playland at the mall no matter how often they use gadget as their playmate.

Well, so it’s in our hands as parents (or parent-to-be if you’re still single) to provide what kind of toys and games for our kids. I wish I could give my son a balance experience between real games and gadget ones because each has different functions and benefits. I hope you do, too :)

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  1. Yup gadget can be our double headed sword...
    Great post...good research..:)

  2. Agree Mbak. It is all coming back to the parents. How do they do parenting regarding gadgets and technology. Thank you for the insight Mbak.

  3. Glad to know that your children still have balance in playing both traditional and gadget. :) it must be you, who are good at parenting. PS : i love your blog theme Mba, so cute yet gorgeus

  4. Thank you Mbak Eka, I like your writing :)
    My son doesn't really play with gadgets mbak, maybe when he's older and understand how to use it (not to throw it T.T)