Mar 5, 2013

Children are having their imaginations destroyed by iPads and video games

The amazing power and influence of tv, video games and computers on the minds of our little ones is quite incredible.  There is a reason why, in the last times, Elijah would return to "turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers" (Malachi 4:6).  No generation will be so torn apart as this generation of youth, those whose minds have been so powerfully disconnected from "normal" relationships by advanced technology.


Claire Perry, the Prime Minister's adviser on childhood, has made the headlines by criticising a "treadmill" culture in which parents pressurise children to achieve. In an interview with the Times, she said that “It's usually the mother that is orchestrating all of that and doing all the driving. We have created rods for our own back. Children need time to be bored.” She is not wrong. But although this is certainly true of a certain kind of highly aspirational, affluent family, it is far from universal. The most insidious problem lies elsewhere.

Consider the case of Danny Kitchen, the five-year-old boy who ran up a bill for £1,710.43 on his parents' iPad. Every parent knows how easy it is: children have a magnetic attraction to anything with a screen, and an uncanny way of squirrelling phones and iPads away when you're back is turned. And they seem to have been hard-wired with all the skills they need to pick up any piece of technology and start playing a game on it. There but for the grace of God, eh, mums and dads?

Maybe. But the question that's bothering me is the one that nobody seems to be asking. What was a five-year-old doing playing a game called Zombies vs Ninjas in the first place? The fact that this hasn't raised a single eyebrow is a depressingly accurate sign of the times. While a small demographic of parents may drive their children to breaking point, the majority tend to stick a screen in their hands and tell them to get on with it. This should cause Mrs Perry – and the rest of us – far greater concern.

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