We live in an age where we have so much technology at our fingertips. But the difference is now that the parents didn’t grow up with the technology that our children now have access to, so it is a big learning curve for everyone. Getting kids involved with technology can be really great, with many young children knowing all about coding and creating video content before they’re even off to school. Technology has helped our lives in so many ways, but it is important to approach raising children with technology with a particular strategy in mind, so that it doesn’t completely take over their lives.
Of course, having the right equipment in place can make using a laptop or computer much easier and more comfortable, with a wireless ergonomic keyboard and mouse combo, for example, as well as headphones and other devices. But if you don’t have a strategy in place for how you want to approach this with your children, and following through with your approach, it can be something that they can become addicted to and rely on. Here are some things to think about.
Not allowing the use of technology in the home is unlikely to work. This is because we as parents rely on it, and it can be hard to say one thing but do another thing. That is why it is important to stress the idea of moderation with kids when it comes to technology use. The reason for this is that there are a range of studies that have looked into screen time and how much impact it can have on children. These studies have shown that too much screen time can lead to some problems with attention, sleep, difficulties at school, as well as obesity or eating disorders. As a rule, screens should be avoided for children under two years old, (but of course, there can be times when this kind of thing is a lifesaver).
Encourage face-to-face contact
Video games are huge and something that children can love and really get into. When there is a lot of time to spend on each game it can be quite an addictive thing for children, so it needs to be monitored. One thing that some people justify this with is that they are playing with their friends there. However, playing with friends in person is going to still hold real value too. If you allow video games, then make sure that you monitor the time usage and arrange and encourage playdates and meeting up with friends in person, so that important communication skills are not lost.
Encourage creation rather than consumption
Using technology can be a lot about consumption, rather than creation. It can be about consuming YouTube video after YouTube video, or mindlessly scrolling on social media. To make using technology better for all, encourage using it in a way that helps to create. This could be kids creating a stop-motion video or using an online game to learn to spell or to draw. When you flip the mindset to create rather than consume, it can make a difference.