When it comes to technology and kids there’s a huge debate on this issue. Well, nowadays, you can hardly find a kid not using iPad or smartphone! Kids never miss the chance to spend limitless hours with iPad, laptops or smartphones. Many parents even are introduced to the latest technology only after their kids have discovered it and have been using it for quite some time.
Older generations grew up without this kind of connectivity, and many of us can’t help but wonder if this new way of life for children is an advantage or detriment to their growth and maturity.
The question here is, is that good or bad?! And if good how to improve it, and if bad, how to limit it?! Well, there’s no clear answer to this question! Opinions differ from one person to another and you can say that all opinions are correct. So How technology can be good and bad for kids in the same time?!
There are many great things about technology, but there are also reasons to hold back. Like everything in life, it seems to be all about balance.
Education: With a simple fingerprint, your kid can learn a lot! So if your child has a special talent, there a wealth of information online, and he can absolutely enhance it. Also, if he wants to know any information about a specific topic, he will surely find thousands of websites presenting the whole information he might want to get. Simply, it’s like carrying a virtual and portable library everywhere anytime.
Not only with the computer but with all devices there are educational options. There are many educational apps, kids can learn even new languages in an engaging way through apps! What makes a computer program, an app, or a TV show educational can be summed up in one word: content.
Social Skills Development: Through technology, kids are able to absorb ideas that equip them with skills necessary in relating to other people. When technology is used appropriately, technology can be used in collaboration with other people. It allows kids to connect with friends and family who live far away. Programs like Skype can allow “face to face” visits with anyone from anywhere in the world.
Increases Motivation To Reach Goals: Many apps and computer activities are created to encourage children to complete a level in order to unlock the next level. This learns children to overcome challenges to reach their goals.
The Bad Technology For Kids:
Isolation: If technology is misused it will, unfortunately, wrap kids in an electronic world and void them of real relationships. They will lose their interest in spending time with their families and real friends and prefer to spend hours and hours with their favorites devices and electronic friends!
Too much screen time: Spending too much time in front of a screen cause health problems especially to kids like irregular sleep, behavioral problem, eyes issues and sometimes obesity.
Open world: Children’s minds are in a continuous pattern of learning; they tend to absorb whatever is placed in front of them. Through electronic devices and internet connection, they can watch anything, and they don’t know what’s right and what’s wrong, also watching violent movies or playing violent games is not healthy for a child’s developing mind and psyche.
When it comes to making technology-based decisions with children, every parent needs to be smart, make age appropriate choices to prevent turning technology out to family’s nightmare! And can be managed through some balanced methods.
The Balance Between Good and Bad Technology:
Here are some ways we as parents can encourage healthy use of technology.
Cut off technology days: Try to set days which are called family days in which you all unplug yourselves from technology and spend a special time together, this will teach your kids that family time is precious time and it’s way more important than spending time with metal and glass friends.
Create ground rules: Don’t say no! Just put some rules for using devices like limiting the screen time and this includes (TV, Computer, iPad, Smartphone). And If your child breaks the rules, you can take away the privilege of having the device.
Be a leader! Teach your kids how to arrange their priorities and to ask themselves, Is this good for me?! Is this the right time?! Give them skills to think and use their minds to choose the right thing for them.
Be a role model! Don’t ask your children for a family time while holding your mobile phone for hours! Don’t ask them to limit screen time while you are spending hours in front of your laptop or TV. Remember you are their role model! They will follow you and of course, they will ask themselves, why are they asking me to do something they can’t do?! Right?!
With a little effort, you can minimize the risks of negative consequences from the use of technology and maintain all of its benefits.