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Do techy children lack common sense?

3 years ago

1 expert and 1 parent have answered

expert answer
Chris Sutton expert
Chris Sutton Founder eLearn. Education Design Eumundi, AU
Education expert

There is nothing so uncommon in this world as common sense - and adults are just as silly as children at times. Define common sense! If you mean we all make poor choices, lack attention and concentration at times and take the path less travelled - that's true.

If we want to enhance children's ability to grow into adults who make sensible choices in life then we need to help them to understand that the choices we make have consequences. 'If you do this, then that is likely to happen and are you prepared to take that chance?'

Yes, children exposed to the outdoor life get to make lots of these kind of choices, but so do children who have to stay in the confines of the city or their own backyard. If you don't feed your cat, it will probably waste away and die.' ' You hurt your brother/sister you will spend some time in a 'thinking space' devoid of the things you like to do and see.' 'You break curfew you will not be trusted to go out without an adult.'

Children who have boundaries and rules feel safe because they make choices and experience consequences in the safety of their home and family. They don't have to go adventuring on a computer or physically.

Gaming, technology or physical gaming can create a 'choice/consequence' situation but it isn't always a realistic, life based situation - it's more likely to be a 'use violence to avoid consequence' or 'manufactured problem' situation. Technology has it's place in the world but common sense comes from life. Technology and common sense to me are things like 'if walk off the pavement while you are texting a friend you are likely to be hit by a car' and 'if you answer your mobile phone while driving you are likely to be fined or create a serious accident.' ' If you take a gun to solve your problems you will most likely end up with a much greater problem or dead.'

Common sense - the most uncommon human trait on the planet - child or adult. :)

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Experience 3 years ago
Siobhan O'Neill writer
Siobhan O'Neill Freelance journo and mum of 2

Do you ever get frustrated at your child’s seeming lack of common sense? I imagine it’s a universal parental experience. But a recent study claimed that too much screen time was turning children into ‘Robokids’ who have no common sense.

The British study, admittedly commissioned by a camping company, suggested that increasingly children ‘learn many of their behaviour patterns and values from TV and on-line, virtual worlds’. It cited the huge difference between the amount of time parents spent playing outdoors as children, compared with the time they allow their kids to play outside unsupervised.

Dave Stewart, CEO of outdoor development company Fresh Air Learning said: ‘Essential to the development of common sense in children is experiencing the real world first hand. Children need to know that if they run too fast, they’ll trip and hurt themselves or if they climb a tree, there is the potential of falling out of it. Today’s trend towards helicopter parenting means children are being protected from these experiences.’

The same study pointed to a lack of parental concern about children’s unsupervised online time.

Evidence suggests that 'common sense' can be improved through practice and experience. Certainly as parents we should probably employ better common sense to keep our children safe online.

But studies have shown that gaming can improve children’s decision making abilities, and this use of good judgement is a core aspect of common sense. Post doctorate associate at the University of Minnesota, C Shawn Green said, ‘Video game players pull more information from the sensory world, related to the decisions facing them.’ This is particularly true for action gaming.

There’s no doubt that common sense is a handy skill to have. It can help keep our children safer as they venture out independently.

Whether techy children have more or less common sense is hard to say. Kids are probably just kids. But as parents we can help them develop good judgement by backing off as they learn about the outdoor world, but being more present as they experience their online world.

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Opinion 3 years ago

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