Kids Tech: Tips for Parents in the Digital Age
The world has now globalized thanks to technology. Such is its significance and influences on our daily lives that even our kids are now part of the growth. They are digital-savvy citizens who were exposed to technology at a young age and now use it on a regular basis.
However, since it can sting as much as it can benefit them, it is vital that we assist our children in learning healthy ways of digital use. How can we effectively do this? Here are several essential tips for parents in the digital age.
Create a Media Use Plan for the Family:
While it is irrefutable that media is one way to enhance your everyday life, it can displace numerous essential activities if utilized improperly. This can include much-needed family time as well time spend with friends away from screens. The need to have a proper media-use family plan has never been more important.
Restrict Reasonably and Encourage Playtime:
Similar to other activities in your home, it is essential that you set reasonable limits for media use. In addition to setting limits, encourage regular playtime and make it an everyday priority. This is especially important for your younger kids as it stimulates creativity.
Don’t let screen time be alone time. Participate and play with your kids during screen time as it promotes bonding, social interaction, as well as active learning.
You can either watch a movie or even play some video games together. Not only will it help you bond; it also provides you with the perfect opportunity to not only understand them but also share your perspectives and offer guidance. This is also the perfect time to teach them about online safety and security.
Face-To-Face Communication Is Irreplaceable:
Two-way communication is the best way for young kids to learn. Conversing back and forth has been shown to develop language skills more than even “passive listening.”
Face-to-face active listening communication is an integral part of language development. Conversations can either be direct or, if need be, through video chat in cases where the parent or guardian is not around.
Lead by Example:
Instill good and decent online manners. Children tend to mimic their parents. As their role model, you should take necessary precautions like limiting the time period you spend on your media. This will help you interact and bond more with your kids by being there as opposed to getting lost in your screen.
Set up Tech-Free Zones:
Important activities such as family/social gatherings, mealtimes or even particular places in the house such as bedrooms should be completely screen-free. You can start by switching off the TV when having face-to-face time with your kids to avoid distractions for one or restrict them from taking their gadgets to their rooms during bedtime.
Such changes will not only promote healthier eating habits, but they also add to the family time and help the kids sleep better.
Children Will Always Be Children
Undoubtedly, kids are bound to mess up when using media. Carefully handle mistakes with understanding and turn every moment of error into a learning experience.
However, some actions such as cyberbullying may need some stern measures and action. It is crucial that you take note of your kid’s behavior, and where necessary seek professional assistance such as counseling.
While technology is now a fundamental component in our everyday lives, it should always be appropriately and moderately used. It is possible to ensure it does not disrupt fundamental essential activities. Despite its numerous benefits towards the growth of our kids, it should never take the place of real-time experiences with our families. The latter is vital in promoting the healthy development and proper learning of our kids.
Prioritize face-to-face interaction and ensure it is not overshadowed by a bunch of screens and media streams.