Today’s children have more technology at their disposal than any generation before them, and it’s a bit of a double-edged sword. Some parents might marvel at the wide range of educational apps available that claim to help children boost academic skills, but that won’t count for much if they can’t even master the basic skill of writing.
A study carried out by the Heart of England Foundation NHS Trust found that young children are entering school without the hand strength and dexterity needed to hold their pencils due to the widespread overuse of touchscreen tablets and phones. The ability to grip and move a pencil requires a strong control over the fine muscles in the fingers, and children who are constantly using touchscreens don’t get the opportunity to develop these essential skills.
Parents have no one to blame but themselves, according to British pediatricians. Many parents find it easier to park their kids in front of an iPad than to encourage them to build with blocks or participate in other activities that build hand muscles such as coloring.