Blame gadgets, many kids in Bengaluru can’t hold a pen properly!

BENGALURU: Child therapists and nursery teachers in the city have observed that many children, mostly in the age group of two to five, are increasingly finding it a challenge to hold pencils and pens the right way. Excessive use of smartphones and tablets are to blame for this, though parents think being tech-savvy is important for their children right from formative years, the teachers said.

Nita M., an architect staying at Whitefield, said she realised that giving her son gadgets since he was two has done more harm than good. “A week after he joined the LKG, the teacher called me and told me that he grips the pencil like a stick. She suggested that I take him for therapy sessions to help him overcome the issue. Now we have limited his access to iPads and smartphones and, instead, are encouraging him to play building blocks and use crayons and paintbrushes at home,” she said.

Child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr Yashaswini Kamaraju suggested that children should he exposed to more outdoor activities during their early years. “Playing in sand and with building blocks and toys helps children understand how an object feels and how it can be used. Creating room for creative, exploratory and stimulatory experiences is also essential and use of technology should be regulated by parents at the right time,” she said.   

“Parents often claim that their wards do well while painting on tablets and smartphones, but we discourage them as a child fails to develop the right grip, movement and pressure of holding pencils, paintbrushes and such,” said Sumathi Ravindranath, Founder Director, Discover Montessori House of Children. Learning through gadgets is never encouraged in the Montessori system. “It is high time we realised that not everything can be done through gadgets, and children should be taught responsible way of using technology. Children should be kept away from gadgets to help them develop natural skills,” she said.  

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