Using technology to improve communication between parents and children is crucial for building strong and trusty relationships. With technology development, we can communicate no matter where we are or what time it is.
We all surely remember when the world didn’t have remote technology, so we had to use payphones or write letters. But nowadays, things are easier with the use of tech devices as tools for communication.
The Pros and Cons of Technology for Communication
It is physically impossible to be around your children 24/7 because of work, school, social life, and other activities. As a parent, a huge relief is that I can reach my children, no matter where they are or where I am.
Some other benefits of technology in parenting and communication are:
- Opportunity to be in touch with relatives, friends, parents, school workers, and others, no matter far they are.
- Parents can easily control their children’s location, a benefit for parents but a disadvantage for children;
- On the other hand, the potential drawbacks of technology in parenting are:
- Exaggerated control by parents;
- Ruining the trust bridge between parents and children;
- Increased chance of children lying to parents;
Lastly, parents can use technology in parenting and communication but should balance it with other traditional methods.
Ways to Use Technology for Better Communication
Let’s discuss the many ways to use technology for better communication.
· Video Calling and Messaging
Video calls and messages help parents connect with their children and be sure they are safe and happy no matter how distant they are. Here are some tips to have effective video calls and messages with your children:
- Have a stable Wi-Fi connection;
- Use a clear and happy voice;
- Talk to your children when they’re alone;
- You can wear headphones to optimize the experience;
There are many popular video calling and message apps, such as Messenger, Instagram, Skype, etc.
· Parental Control Apps
Parental control apps allow parental monitoring of children’s texts, messages, calls, emails, and social media profiles.
Choose a parental control app that lets you see your children’s location, restrict apps, see what they search, set time limits, see who they message, and have a suitable price.
CellSpy, mSpy, Kaspersky Safe Kids, Norton Family, Qustodio, and other apps can help you monitor your children’s tech devices.
· Social Media and Blogging
Social media lets children communicate, make friends, and express their feelings. Blogs, on the other hand, are great for sharing experiences and advice on different life topics.
Children must have proper behavior on social media, and blogs must be engaging, sincere, and offer proper advice and tips. Popular social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and such.
The best blogs for parents include The Digital Parents (of course), ScarryMommy, Fatherly, and Motherly.
· Educational Apps and Games
Educational apps help our children learn in a fun, interactive, engaging, and rewarding way.
Parents can choose from different educational apps depending on their children’s interests, such as language, science, art, music, or other apps.
Popular educational apps and games are Minecraft Education, Khan Academy, Coursera, Lingokids-Play and Learn, and others.
· Smart Home Technology
Smart home technology makes our household activities easier and saves time and energy.
- There are three types of smart home technology:
- Internet of Things devices
- Smart Devices;
- Smart Connected Device;
Popular smart home technology is Google Nest, robotic vacuum cleaners (that’s practical), smart light bulbs, smart locks, and others.
Best Practices for Using Technology in Parenting
Implementing tech in parenting can be challenging. So, let’s find out the best practices for using technology in parenting.
· Set Clear Rules and Boundaries
Parents must establish clear rules and boundaries for their children regarding screen time and tech-free activities. Here are some examples of good rules and boundaries parents can set:
- Only two hours of tech for entertainment purposes daily;
- Regular talks about the pros and cons of tech;
- No tech while eating, studying, or at family gatherings;
To bring up physically and mentally healthy children, establish rules regarding the use of technology (no matter how much it helps you raise your kid).
· Maintain Open Communication
Always have open and honest communication with your children. Encourage empathy and allow your children to express their feelings and opinions.
For example, you can set a family rule for regular dinner talks. But if your child is out of the house and you need to talk, you can always use the wonders that are smartphones.
· Lead by Example
Be a good role model to your children. They behave according to what you do.
Embrace productive tech usage and have healthy screen time habits. Create a healthy family plan that includes outdoor and indoor family bonding.
Don’t forget to use smartphones as a tool for communication, not as your only source of survival.
· Foster Face-to-Face Communication
Face-to-face communication is crucial between parents and children. Children feel safe and secure when talking face-to-face with their parents. Some strategies that promote face-to-face communication are:
- Be open and honest, and show empathy;
- Use proper vocabulary
- Have a friendly tone;
- Don’t pressure your child;
- Analyze and give proper advice;
With the use of tech, you can also foster face-to-face communication through video calls. You can even use fun face filters!
· Monitor Your Child’s Technology Use
Monitoring children’s online activities is one of the parents’ main roles. Setting parental controls and monitoring software provide children with a safe and secure online experience.
Also, studies show that half of all teens are addicted to tech, so parental monitoring help reduce that number.
Be a protective parent, but not a freak control. Don’t constantly annoy your children with messages or calls.
Instead, set healthy rules, boundaries, and relationships with your children. Try to foster face-to-face communication because it creates trust, belonging, and honesty.
And if your children are all grown up, you can still text them that you love them.
Can technology replace face-to-face communication?
Technology can’t be better than face-to-face communication but offers many advantages with video calls.
How do I know if my child is ready for technology-based communication?
My advice is that children around the age of 12 are ready for technology-based communication. But, it all depends on your child’s maturity.
What should I do if my child is addicted to technology?
If your child is facing addiction, the first thing you should do is talk to your children about the effects of addiction on their health and set strict rules and boundaries regarding screen time.
How can I ensure my child’s safety while using technology?
Talk to your child about online safety and the importance of protecting personal information. You can always use parental control apps to be sure that your children are safe.
What are some ways to keep communication lines open when faced with technological challenges?
To keep communication lines open, you must also focus on face-to-face communication with your children once in a while.
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