One area in which technology makes a positive difference is reading. Technology can help make reading easy and accessible. The countless apps, in addition to library access, enable kids to have a full menu of reading options at their fingertips. This can result in more time spent reading, and therefore, an increase in skills.
Another benefit of technology is the access we have to people and experiences all over the world. Whether connecting with far-away relatives or making friends across the globe, tech allows us to virtually be where we cannot be physically.
Despite these benefits of technology, there are some drawbacks, too. Unfettered access to technology may lead to overstimulation, poor social skills, and vulnerability to online predators.
So, what can parents and caregivers do to effectively manage their kids’ technology?
Be a Role Model
Bottom line, your kids will do what you do. If you smoke, it is more likely that they will smoke. If you exercise regularly, odds are they will, too. The same reasoning applies to technology. If you are glued to your phone, they will most likely imitate that behavior as well.
This is not a time for ‘do as I say, not as I do’ - that's not the best way to achieve the desired behavior. Be intentional about your use of technology, lead by example, and give your attention to the people you love - face to face - first.
Put Limits Into Place
Set limits on screens, regardless of the size - phones, tablets, laptops, etc. Between schoolwork and recreational time, children have many opportunities for screen time. Feel empowered to set limits - it is your responsibility as a parent or caregiver. Whether it’s ‘no phones at the table’ or ‘charge your phone in my (parent’s) bedroom at 9:00 PM’, there are many limits you can put into place.
Encourage Conscious Media Consumerism
Work together with your kids to take an objective look at the media in your life. As a team, find the best apps, content, and websites to meet your needs. Evaluate media - ask, ‘does this (app/website/etc.) put good into the world?’
Warn Against Multitasking
Multitasking is a myth. When we multitask, by definition we divide our attention between one or more tasks, so each task each receive less than our full focus. Splitting our attention between two tasks and giving each task only fifty percent of our consideration almost guarantees poor results in both activities. Ensure that you are setting a good example in this area. The mantra should be, “One thing at a time.”
The bottom line is that YOU are the parent or caregiver, and you make the rules, for the benefit of the child. Do not permit technology to dictate how your family functions. Instead, tackle the issue head-on and decide what role tech will play in your family. You’ll be glad you did!
About My Guest Blogger
- Classroom Teacher
This website uses marketing and tracking technologies. Opting out of this will opt you out of all cookies, except for those needed to run the website. Note that some products may not work as well without tracking cookies.Opt Out of Cookies