The Beginning

As I sit down in the clinic in Abu Dhabi, waiting to see the Doctor for the sore throat I’ve been battling against, I take a look around.There aren’t many people in the waiting room. Just an older couple; the man impatiently drumming his feet and his woman who is anxiously looking at what catches my attention too. I can hear the sheer cry of a new born baby. Loud and consistent. The baby cries and cries. The young mother is sitting by the push chair rolling it back and forth with one hand, while she uses her phone on the other hand.

 

What she does next, not only astonishes me, but wasn’t something new I’d seen. She played a youtube clip of a song, to the crying new born baby (I say new born because of that specific type of cry they have). She puts the phone right in front of the baby’s face hoping that it would distract the child and that the child would be quiet. To her dismay, the child didn’t stop crying. And the mum further shoved the phone in the baby’s face while slightly speeding up the pace that she was pushing, the push chair.

 

The older woman and I exchanged nervous glances. We both wanted to step in and help, but we didn’t know if we could. Thankfully a nurse showed up, politely asked the mother of the baby if she could assist, and the mother didn’t decline. Miraculously, as soon as the nurse picked up the baby, and began rocking the baby back and forth slowly, the baby was silent. Our ears were at ease and the mother just went back to her phone.

 

I don’t believe in the blame game, because I believe that,  the knowledge sharing game is better. Perhaps that was her first child and she didn’t know what was wrong with the baby? Perhaps she felt that the baby would eventually stop if she played a tv show or song? Perhaps she was going through a tough day and had no sleep the night before, due her child being sick? (we were in a doctors office after all!)

 

All those questions go unanswered, but one thing stuck out to me the most. Our increasing dependence on technology, is crazily getting out of hand. For the adults and for the children. Something had to be done. And soon.

Kidz Unplugged – The Concept

When people hear the name, I normally have to repeat it using the actions of a plug being ‘unplugged’. Then I hear the ‘ohh!’ expression. The name represents exactly what the concept again. We all understand and know that children nowadays are so connected and addicted to technology that they don’t even know it.

 

If you’re a parent, how many times have you had to hand your child a device whether it’s your own phone or their Ipads? It’s an easy settling device and more and more children are so in need of the devices that finding the balance has become hard.

 

These different screens are used as negotiation tools, ‘if you eat all your greens, you can play on the Ipad!’ Usually it works, but the damage is already done.

 

As technology further increases, in development, and accessibility, what kind of future will we have? Will our children be bright, creative, imaginative, independent, ambitious, thinkers, innovators and well-cultured? Or will they be lazy, dependant, unbothered, easily-controlled, unambitious, lack of self worth and unable to be productive?

 

To answer how they will be in their future, we have to give them the best tools during their childhood. We have to provide the lessons, the environment and the resources to build and nurture the kind of adults we want them to be.

 

KidzUnplugged provided a balance! A reminder of the simple things, the cost effective ideas and the creative ways children can just be children and play.