Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

The children of Generation Alpha have a technology problem

The kids aren’t alright, but it’s not their fault
Courtesy of Unsplash

If you’re a fellow member of Generation Z, you’re all too familiar with this scenario: going out to a restaurant or a public setting to see a young child with their often-Millennial parents seeming unbothered by the fact that their child is glued to an iPad screen as Cocomelon or TikTok screech over civil conversation. Seeing these situations with my own eyes made me realize that there’s something very wrong with the picture of a young child from Generation Alpha — born between the years 2010-2025 — being raised almost entirely by technology.

Millennials — born between the years 1981 and 1996 — are raising Generation Alpha’s “iPad kids.” These are children who were raised in a new technological age that seems to encompass much of their generation. These children are going down a very dark path of desensitization due to them being raised by the internet and technology, instead of their own parents.

“iPad Kids” are notorious for being badly behaved; what they’re being taught in school isn’t being supplemented at home with guidance from their parents, instead making their way through life with a constant exposure to mobile devices. These technology-addicted kids have no manners and have a complete lack of respect for grown-ups or other people around them. When their parents take away these children’s devices, either as a form of discipline or so they can eat their food in peace, these children get so upset that they throw intense tantrums that would be otherwise be indicative of an addiction.

Generation Alpha’s children are currently in a developmental state where they are learning to regulate their own emotions and to be respectful of others. Parents of “iPad Kids” are their child’s first real teachers. Children learn many things from watching their parents, including how to speak, walk, feed themselves and other important developmental milestones. When a child is given an iPad or another piece of consuming technology from that young of an age, you are doomed to create a child that is not only an inconvenience to others, but to their parents.

I understand parents wanting to give their kids some time using technology like an iPad or another mobile device, but for hours and hours on end? That is shameful parenting. It’s heartbreaking that these kids aren’t getting what they need from their parents to be the best people that they can become. They are fully capable of learning things, yet they are constantly distracted by their iPads or screens.

When I was the age of Generation Alpha children, I was at a point in my life where my emotions seemed incredibly intense. Yet I still knew right from wrong. I knew to respect and listen to my parents or other adults. I knew how to regulate my emotions to the point where I didn’t hit or spit on other kids simply because I was upset. This is what the parents of “iPad Kids” are brewing — children that will eventually turn into adults who don’t understand the concept of consent or how other’s feelings work. This cycle of lazy parenting and raising children on screens must end now.

Millennials, it’s not okay to let your children run around the world to do whatever they want. It’s not funny or cute. You need to show your kids discipline and how to respect others when they misbehave so they can learn to act appropriately. Give your children a little love and support instead of technology. You need to be there for your children and foster healthy coping mechanisms for these strong emotions that these kids have instead of shoving an iPad in their face.

Being a parent is a full-time commitment, and when your kids are young, they require constant attention, especially when online using the internet or social media. By learning about your kids and letting them know that you’re always there for them, you can help them grow into a well-developed and put together adult.

Liv Cushman can be reached at [email protected].

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