Here's Why You Might Want to Try a Low-Tech Approach to Parenting

How did you spend your time when you were a child? Did you play in the garden, climb trees, build sandcastles at the beach, read books, and let your imagination create worlds of magic and intrigue when you were playing with your toys?

Now, the next question; how does your child spend their time? Is it by doing the same kinds of eternal activities described above, or do they spend a large chunk of their time (if not all of it) glued to a screen, either watching TV, Googling the best mattresses of 2018, or immersed in video games?

The question may seem a bit irrelevant at first, but rest assured; there are some very good reasons why you should consider taking a more low-tech approach to parenting.

Watching TV may reduce the attention span, reading books may increase it
One of the key personality traits tied to success and proper navigation of the world as an adult is the ability to focus attentively on a given subject for a prolonged period of time. This is an invaluable skill in many technical fields, and even in more artsy and dynamic jobs, an inability to focus is likely to spell disaster and redundancy very quickly.

It has been suggested by researchers that TV-watching appears to significantly reduce the attention span of children, both in the short term and also in later life.

It’s easy to see how such a phenomenon could occur. TV, both in the way shows are structured and in the way advert breaks are routinely interspersed in short snippets, demands a scattered kind of focus at best, and often plays on the emotions of viewers in dramatic and over-the-top ways in order to ensure engagement.

Reading a book, on the other hand, requires prolonged attention as well as the action of the imagination — essentially the opposite formula.

Electronics are often hyper-stimulating and desensitize the child to the real world

Our hormonal systems exist in a careful balance and evolved in an age long before digital entertainment media such as television, computers, or much less, the internet.

High-tech forms of entertainment are designed to be hyper-stimulating in a way that our ancestors would never have experienced. There’s more sex, more action, more explosions, and everything is brighter, bigger, and more vivid.

The consequence of this is that our hormonal response is hyper-stimulated, particularly our dopamine system. This, in turn, causes our bodies to become desensitized so that normal life becomes less bright and interesting to us by comparison.

By avoiding — or at least strictly limiting — electronics, your child is likely to enjoy the real world much more. If they spend hours in front of the TV or computer, it’s very likely they’ll begin to find everything else less exciting.

Low-tech entertainment improves the imagination (which is essential for a meaningful life)

Everything man-made in the world — from buildings to music — began first as a thought in someone’s creative imagination.

Imagination is one of the key skills of the human experience and plays a vital role in our ability to navigate the world meaningfully and with confidence. The more low-tech a form of entertainment is, the more it engages and trains the imagination.

The more vivid and visceral a form of entertainment is — such as a video game, for example — the less the player relies on their imagination, and the more they rely on the medium itself.

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