IT gadgets 'don't make good presents'
Children nowadays appear to be more occupied with computer games or social media, which has become a serious concern because they don't seem to have time to develop other crucial, necessary skills.As high-tech gadgets become more affordable, more parents are choosing to buy them as gifts for their children. However, two academics who have been keeping an eye on children-related issues warn parents against this.
Assoc Prof Sompong Jitradub from Chulalongkorn University's Faculty of Education said parents in urban areas relied on information technology so much that their children are becoming isolated and not learning how to interact with others.
Amornwich Nakhonthap, adviser to the Ramajitti Institute and research chief of the Child Watch Project, warned that research had shown that young people's overuse of social media can affect their physical and mental health.
Children between the ages of eight and 18 spend about eight hours daily watching TV, using cell-phones or playing on the computer, though experts say children, especially those in primary school, should spend no more than two hours a day on any of these activities.
"Less than a third of them lack life skills. This is a serious problem because it could lead to bigger problems when they grow up," he said. "Our families, communities and schools are failing to foster such awareness in our children."
He also called on parents to become good role models for their children so they can be disciplined and spend the correct length of time using gadgets.
Another issue that has come up for discussion this year are two separate surveys conducted by Adecco Thailand and Bangkok Poll, which found that medicine was the most popular career among children. Engineering, police work, business and teaching were among the other top future occupations children chose in the survey.