Handwriting issues in kids and it's relation to smartphones

Handwriting is still an important aspect in primary and secondary education while writing this article! BTW, It's 2nd half of 2017.

Quite dramatic as it may sound, the fact is technology is bringing in massive, massive change in day to day behavior of the child. The current education system is not keeping up with this change and appears to be from the stone age. Children are learning more and faster, thanks to the internet and the way to consume this knowledge is by using smartphone or tablet.

Smartphones and tablets have now reduced to just a screen and you can use gestures to get work done. Now voice is the new hero which means you can just talk to your smartphone and it will do the work and give you a voice update. With artificial intelligence lurking around the corner, you may also not need to talk in future! :)

As you can see, we are now living in a world where the keyboard is defunct and using a pen is stone age era. However, the fact remains that the entire education system is built around using the pencil and pen.

Let's take a step back and get some perspective on this. A person born in 2010 is expected to write his way through the academic period. However the first thing this child gets to play at home is the large screen phablet. At 12 months old this child can play most of the games on the phone and by 24 months the child can open Youtube and search for the best cartoons on his own. By 36 months the child is handed a pencil and asked to write letters and words. This come as a huge shock to the child. Holding a pencil seems to be a challenge. Based on my own observation I see around 50% children having issue in holding the pencil with the correct grip and position which will help them in writing efficiently. Out of this, almost half of them end up with handwriting issues like legibility and speed.

These kids just HATE to write. That's right. Many kids just don't like writing. They can't see the point of writing. It is cumbersome and slow process. It doesn't feel natural. Their hand hurts. Even if they have the right grip and know to write the letters, they just don't want to write. They may as well use gesture or voice and get the work done if they could have it their way.

Handwriting issues are rising at an alarming rate. Parents and teachers are clueless how to address this issue. This issue has to be tackled first at home right from the toddler years where they have still not started going to school. Here parents need to take the initiative by delaying the exposure of the child to the phone. I have seen parents offloading their work to the phone. Instead of parents engaging the child personally, they are now used to giving their phone to the child instead and sparring themselves the challenge of entertaining their own child. And this behavior is observed across the board e.g. fathers, mothers, grandparents, working or non-working.

Children should be involved in fine motor developmental activities (non-technology) first at home. Parents are wrong in expecting that the school is responsible for everything academic end-to-end. Children spend more time at home and parents are fully responsible to what they learn at home. Parents should inculcate the writing habit through play and being assertive. Remember parents, writing is the only option today to perform in school. Making your child write does not mount to cruelty! Think of it from a different angle. Delayed speech or walking is a major issue. If your 6 year old child can't speak or walk it's a major concern. Writing is similar from an academic perspective, make sure your child builds the writing skills during the preschool period.

Limit or even better completely avoid your child's exposure to gesture based games on the phone. These games conditions your child to using gestures to do things at an early age which may not be a good thing for your child. This is just one issue technology brings in to your child's life. As a parent, you need to make the right choice so that your child does not suffer academically.

There is a good chance that writing may lose relevance in future, however till that time, there is no escaping it and children still need to learn writing.

Website: http://www.advaitam.in
Activities: http://www.advaitam.in/home/after-school-activity-for-kids-hsr-bangalore
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ADVAITAM.IN/ 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/advaitamhsr/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/advaitam_in 
LinkedIN: https://in.linkedin.com/company/advaitam-child-enrichment-centre


Popular Posts