In an age where children are practically living on the internet, it’s essential to make sure that they learn good technology habits. Many parents are plagued with difficult technology-related decisions. 💻
We understand that most of the gadgets kids are using didn’t even exist until very recently and you may feel that your children are addicted to screens, and this can force you to make instinctive decisions that can have negative consequences. Don’t worry, we're here to help. 👍
Here’s a list of techniques you can use to instil good technology habits in your children:
How do you introduce technology to kids?
Here are a few things you need to keep in mind before introducing your kids to new technology:
Set Limits ✋
While you want to give your kids the freedom they so desire, it is usually better to keep a limit on their technology usage from the very beginning. Technology and kids are a good match but only in small doses. Setting daily data usage and screen time limits is a good way of making sure your children understand the importance of limiting their internet usage.
Try sneaking in educational and informative content
A number of interactive puzzles and quizzes available on the internet are modelled as games in order to pique kids’ interest. Encourage your children to spend some time playing these ‘games’ regularly. This helps them learn in a fun and interactive way and highlights the internet’s vast academic potential.
Try watching stuff together 💞
Screen-time doesn’t always need to be alone time. Try finding common areas of interest to consume content together with your children. This is a great way to keep an eye on the internet activity and learn more about their interests. This allows you to spend quality time with your children in an environment they might feel more comfortable in.
Don't use gadgets as pacifiers
Using gadgets to deal with children’s tantrums is a dangerous practice. It sets a bad precedent and can also lead to your children developing a problematic technology dependence getting your kids addicted to technology as a pacifier. Screen-times should be limited no matter how much the child disagrees with it.
What is the best technology for your kids to use?
These are some good apps and gadgets for your children to use:
Skype and other video-calling apps 💬
Face-to-face communication is important. Technology can be used to connect with friends and family irrespective of distance. Video calling apps like Skype can help your children develop the wonderful habit of routinely checking in on people they care about.
Everyday tools 🔧
The widget panel in smartphones is more useful than it is given credit for. The calculators, alarm clocks, to-do lists on your children’s phones can prove to be extremely handy. It is a good idea to teach them how to use these widgets to make everyday work easier and more efficient.
Reading is a great habit. It keeps children’s minds sharp, lets them find out more about things in a safe context, and leads to overall personality development. Devices like Amazon’s Kindle have eliminated the need to drag around heaps of books.
Your children can now access thousands of paperbacks on their Kindle. It is better than a regular tablet because it sports many useful features like safe-reading mode (to reduce the strain on your children’s eyes), automatic brightness setting, and even lets users ‘flip’ through pages to emulate a physical copy.
How do you talk to kids about technology?
Here are a few things you need to keep in mind while discussing technology with kids:
1. Be open about the restrictions
Simply telling kids the rules are “for their own good” doesn’t cut it anymore. Young children these days are far more intuitive and capable of critical thought. It is better to tell them exactly why you are limiting their screen time or putting parental controls on their devices. Have a conversation about habits and how unrestricted access to the internet might expose them to things they are not ready to handle yet.
2. Take suggestions ✍
It is a great idea to decide the family’s screen-time and daily data usage limits after consulting everyone - even the children. Ask them why they feel a certain amount of daily screen time is needed. This will give a better insight into their internet habits and what they think about screen time.
3. Set an example
It is now experimentally proven (read up on the Bobo Doll Experiment) that children learn more through observation than anything else. Practising good screen habits sets an excellent example for them as "digital-savvy parents".
Modern technology is the gateway to the future. Virtual tools and gadgets can be used to facilitate your children’s intellectual and social growth. One of the many ways the internet can help your kids learn and grow is through best-in-class online tutoring.
At GoStudent, we offer hand-picked courses complete with an inclusive and engaging curriculum and the best tutors from around the globe. Please visit our website to learn more.