A parenting expert visiting Wagga has just released her first picture story book encouraging the modern parent to ditch technology and instead encourage creative play.
Parenting professional Maggie Dent, who is visiting Wagga this month for a series of parenting seminars, has released her first picture book, My Cool Plastics Cupboard, which calls on parents to realise the dangers of excessive technology on their young children.
The book’s release follows nation-wide calls for a “digital detox” for children, after Deakin University revealed research last month warning parents about the dangers to children who overdose on screen time.
According to Ms Dent, toddlers develop crucial neurological pathways between birth and the age of three, which can only be formed through “creative play” and real world experiences.
"Toddlers develop specific skills through life experience, not through technology,” Ms Dent said.
“Our children are using technology instead of creative play as entertainment, which is hindering their emotional and social development.
"When we give them technology, we are holding them back from being creative thinkers.”
Deakin University research released in March suggested parents weren’t aware of the consequences of too much screen time for children, which could result in poor language, cognitive and social skills.
Ms Dent said children’s growing access to technology was becoming increasingly dangerous, with technology addiction now a very frightening reality.
“Young children can get addicted to technology very quickly and that stops them doing the things they need to do to grow and learn in the way they should,” she said.
Wagga father Daniel Burns decided to put his four sons on a “digital detox” in December, allowing them 30 minutes of screen time a day to ensure a reasonable amount of time was spent in front of a screen.
“Technology doesn’t allow children to use their imagination, when they should be drawing, playing outside or being social,” he said.
“Any tool in the wrong hands can be a bad thing.”