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By Favor Khaoya

Technology has become an integral part of modern life. Almost every child in the modern world can access computers, phones, tablets, and the internet. Our previous article; why you should allow your child access to technology, focused on the positive impacts of technology on a child’s creativity. However, there is no ying without the yang. Technology is a double-edged sword that positively and negatively impacts children’s creativity.

So, how does technology affect your child’s creativity?

Passive consumption

Television shows, movies, and video games are designed for passive consumption, where children absorb information and ideas without actively engaging in creating anything themselves. For example, a child watching a TV show where other children are solving a puzzle piece without attempting to solve the same puzzle on their own is non-interactive. This habit leads to limited imagination and reduced opportunities for active engagement, which can ultimately hinder children’s creativity.

Reduced physical activity

A child remains seated for hours on end when using a gadget or staring at a screen. This inactivity means the child spends less time in active play, which has important benefits for their physical health and mental well-being. Inactivity also limits creativity as physical activities are an essential source of inspiration and stimulating creative thinking.

Limited social interaction

Social interaction is essential to creativity, providing opportunities for collaboration, brainstorming, and feedback. Technology can sometimes replace face-to-face interaction and limit children’s exposure to different perspectives and ideas, thus narrowing their creative focus and minimising their opportunities to grow their creativity.

Overreliance on technology

Children are likely to become excessively reliant on technology for problem-solving and entertainment, putting a damper on their ability to think outside the box and develop creative solutions to their everyday challenges and fun and creative gadget-free entertainment.

Limited exploration

Technology can provide immediate answers to questions and limit opportunities for children to explore and discover on their own. For example, instead of a child figuring out how to colour code a Rubik’s cube on their own, they search online and get the answers directly. The copy-paste attitude limits exploration in children and thus minimises creativity.


So, what can you do to mitigate technology’s negative impact on your child?

  1. Encourage regular exercise and physical activities involving the five senses, such as art projects, building blocks or Legos, music, storytelling, and imaginative play, among others.
  2. Set limits by establishing clear guidelines on how much time your child should spend on screens each day. Ensure they take breaks and engage in other outdoor activities and creative hobbies.
  3. Encourage quality content that is age-appropriate and educational. Look for apps, websites, and games that promote learning and development.
  4. Be a role model through your own technology habits. Avoid excessively using your phone or tablet around your children, especially during meals or family time.
  5. Encourage your child to engage in social interactions with friends and family members. This can include playing games together, having family movie nights, and participating in group activities.

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