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Do Our Kids Still Have A Natural Childhood?

Children Playing Cricket In South Africa


With the advent of gadgets, gaming and multiple smart devices, you cannot but wonder if our kids still have the opportunity of enjoying what would now be conveniently referred to as a natural childhood. What happened to the time when it was okay for the kid to have their hands buried in the sand, or when they climbed trees, plucked mangoes, and played football, forming this seemingly irresistible bond with nature? I really wonder if those days are long gone, and maybe our kids are growing up too early.

With the coming of improved technology and numerous smart personal devices, a frank analysis of the situation would obviously indicate that there are several pros and cons to every reasonable innovation, or invention as the case may be. It would now be left to us to weigh the factors against themselves in the name of finding if the difference results in a greater good, or if it leaves us worse off. No doubt, technology has done a lot to enhance modern living, but one is left to wonder at what expense?

This again leads to the question: “With the presence of gadgets such as smart phones, smart tabs, digital pads, and gaming consoles, do our kids still get the chance to grow up naturally and be kids when they are supposed to be?” Do they still get the opportunity to enjoy what is aptly described as a traditional childhood? We all have to understand that the different seasons of life are apportioned for specific reasons, and when one misses out on a particular part, it just might come back to haunt the individual at some point in time.

Understandably, the times are changing and as humans we can only but flow with the tide. At the same time, maybe it would be to our benefit if we tried to strike the right balance in the development of our children. Somewhere in between, they should be taught that there is a need for each of these parts – the techie part and the nature aspect – therefore these have to be engrafted in to their growing up schedule as a matter of necessity.

The good thing is that it does not have to be a zero-sum game. With the right balance, the kid could enjoy something similar to the best of both worlds.That would mean having a particular time earmarked for playing outdoors, which could be put to great use by experiencing the creative allure of nature, and enjoying the usual interactions which would be normal for a kid. On the flip side, there should also be a standard allocation for tech interaction and the now almost normal play with gadgets and smart devices, which mostly takes place indoors.

Although the balance may not be perfect, it would achieve its aim in making sure that both essentials have been observed, especially because the two sides play a great part in the well-rounded development process which transforms the kid into a complete individual. Much of this could also be said to be responsible for how the kids relate with subjects such as arts and craft, technology, logic, design, nature, and similar concepts much later in life. It only goes to show that no part of a kid’s development should be undermined, as they often have their respective key contributory portions.

The reality is that most people, parents or guardians do not consider this process as one which must be consciously planned. However, in retrospect, past experiences have shown that having a natural childhood plays a huge part in making the person feel fulfilled.

When these kids are just left to enjoy a one sided ‘tech-surrounded’ existence, especially very early in life to the detriment of the other aspects of natural childhood, they eventually grow up really smart and gadget savvy, but may be missing a childhood. This might hold the key to their real essence and the true definition of who they are. As such, it is in their better interest to help ensure that there is the right balance in their interaction with technology as well as finding a necessary bond with nature.



Akinola OdunkanAbout the author: Akinola is an entrepreneur in love with all things techie. He is a computer engineer, content and concept developer and social media buff, who is quite passionate about Leadership, Self Improvement, Personal and Team development. He writes via He can also be followed on Twitter  at @dekynsIV

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