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Many Children Can Use A Mouse But Can't Tie Shoelaces

Researchers have discovered that more young children can operate a computer mouse than ride a bike!

And although 7 out of 10 children between 2 and 5 can easily play on-line games, fewer than 2 out of 10 youngsters can swim unaided.

It would seen that in this new digital age, the traditional milestones which you would expect a child to achieve are being replaced by more modern ones. Is it that parents are too busy or simply too lazy to help their children learn practical and physical skills? Perhaps it is simpler to sit them in front of a screen than to teach them how to ride a bike?

Children are also happy to copy their parents by tapping away on phones or computer keyboards. Child development expert Sue Palmer said; ‘By encouraging children to live a virtual screen-based existence we are deadening their developmental drive and dumbing them down ..... What they need is real play with real people in order to develop properly'.

23% of children between two and five can make a call on a mobile phone and a quarter can navigate between websites easily. One in five know how to use smartphones and even iPads. Most know how to turn a computer on and 73% said they could work a mouse.

However even though children are at ease with the virtual world, only 11% can tie their own shoe laces, just 48% know their own home address and only a third can write their first and last names. The survey of 2,200 mothers in 11 countries by AVG found that in general British children were 'the worst' with fewer real-life achievements than other countries.

Tam Fry, of the National Obesity Forum, said: ‘The physical activity that every child needs is becoming foreign territory.' and an AVG spokesman said: ‘Increasing numbers of parents see computers and electronics as babysitting devices.'

January 2011
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