Having children or working close with children in this present time and age can never be compared to the days of the past. Anyone who has the responsibility of raising children can easily agree to the fact that there are a lot of dramatic changes in the modern days, which have been ignited by modern culture. Modernity is an important aspect of the lives of humans. Historians agree to the fact that it began in the 19th century and its main aim was to make the society a better place in terms of science. Modernization has its roots in Western countries. This is the reason why Americans and the Europeans have been on the move in ensuring that the world is aligned with them. Many children, due to modernization have had access to basic education. Many of them have been taught using educational models that have been based on modernity hence acquired the modern culture, which has had a huge influence on their childhood.
Firstly, one of the main problems that have been reported by teachers and children caregivers is that many children lack imaginative thinking. Technology has drawn their attention from childhood games to different things such as video games and TV. Today, many children prefer to stay in front of a TV for hours rather than go out to play and socialize with other children (Palmer 34). During the ancient days when children had no modern technological devices, all of them would be engaged fully in making up games with their peers. The fields were full and the parks were lively. Modern culture has had a negative impact on childhood since most of them are no longer socializing with their peers through play. In addition, their attention has been shifted to thinking that the only way they can spend their time is by watching TV and playing alone in closed doors.
Modern culture has given an opportunity for not only children but adults online access. Before the discovery of the internet, children caregivers, parents, and teachers would have complete control of the type of information that children were exposed to. Today, any child who has access to a phone or a computer has the capability of accessing any kind of information anywhere without limitation. In fact, many children are now getting addicted to online games than before. This can pose real danger when a child finds graphic materials that are too mature for their age such as pornography (Bond 105). Apparently, due to children having access online today, many of them are being initiated into terrorism and cults that ruin their moral lives. Some are caught up in cyberbullying incidences which end up ruining their emotional lives (Palmer 50).
The most challenging thing that the modern culture has brought with it is ‘helicopter parenting’. Every parent wishes the best for their children. They want their children to be safe, happy and feel loved. However, in the modern society today, many children stay within the four walls of their house having access to the outside world through screens. Experiencing the outside world forms an essential part of every child’s growth. However, the lack of it denies the child the ability to develop important skills such as conflict management, decision making, and team skills.
However, modern culture does not just have its negative sides. One of the positive sides to it is that Children have had access to things that some of the parents and caregivers never thought it would be possible. For example, children have experienced huge opportunities for them to learn and connect with other children as well as experts in their line of talents. Many of them have learned outstanding skills that have helped them in realizing their potential (Palmer 124).
Play has taken a different turn today; however, this does not mean that it is all gone. Children are still given the opportunity to play in their school yards. This gives them an opportunity to exercise their imaginative skills. The major difference is that modern children enjoy wider exposure and experience. Parents who are concerned with the information their children access online can have it controlled by using parental control tools on their devices. Additionally, children can be encouraged to be open about what they access online, especially when parents are not with them (Bond 129).
In conclusion, modern culture is not necessarily ruining the childhood. It is evident that the dangers of modern culture are more than the benefits of it. However, it equally presents itself with countless opportunities. A child who is rightly equipped and has a way of overcoming the dangers of modern life can enjoy a fulfilling childhood. Children are exposed to the danger of losing their imaginative skills due to lack of enough play. Apparently, most of them are exposed to dangerous content on the internet. However, parents and caregivers have the responsibility of ensuring that there is a balance between children’s exposure to gadgets and the time they spend in socializing with others through play.
Palmer, Sue. Toxic Childhood: How The Modern World Is Damaging Our Children And What We Can Do About It. Orion Publishing Group, 2015.
Bond, E. Childhood, Mobile Technologies and Everyday Experiences: Changing Technologies = Changing Childhoods? Springer, 2014.