Balance is essential for every aspect of our lives. If we can’t achieve balance in life, we won’t be able to complete our goals. On the other hand, we can’t imagine life without technology. So, it’s logical that we must figure out how to balance tech usage.
Benefits and Risks of Technology
This digital world is fast and demanding. As long as we accept the rules, we can be sure we are using tech productively. But our kids are happy when they use tech devices for playing games instead of learning (of course, who wouldn’t be happy).
Unfortunately, children can face unpleasant experiences while using tech devices, such as cyberbullying, online predators, addiction, and other health problems. Should we parents allow reckless and unaware use of tech? Of course not. We must teach our kids the value of technology but also balance it with other activities.
Limiting Tech Use
Our kids can play video games forever if we let them. Parents can’t encourage only the fun aspects of technology. We must be persistent and teach our kids to use tech for searching, learning, analyzing, writing, designing, and other skills that last a lifetime.
We should limit time spent gaming, chatting, communicating, and watching often pointless videos.
When is the Right Time to Allow Kids in The Digital World?
The later, the better. But can we accomplish this? We are everyday witnesses of one-year-olds managing smartphones better than us.
So, what can we do to make sure our children are ready for the digital world? Limit their screen time and set rules. We must provide a healthy digital environment for our kids to have effective results.
Making Agreements and Setting Priorities
Agreements between both sides (parents and kids) to respect the rules and act according to them create strong family relationships. So your family should agree to:
- Plan daily activities and weekend trips:
- Limit screen time;
- Often have outdoor activities;
- Have healthier family communication;
Monitoring our Children
When we get to the bottom of children’s hearts, we can see that they are simple, caring, kind, and loving little people. Maybe they fall into the digital circle because of our absence.
So, we need to be more present and balance our time and be with our children to help them balance their digital with real life.
Importance of Fresh Air
We all know that fresh air is crucial for our health. When we take our kids out to play, we can notice happy kids exhausted from running and having fun.
Once we set up outdoor activities as a habit, we won’t be worried about overtime tech usage anymore. Playing football on consoles will be replaced by playing football with friends.
Choosing the Proper Tech Tools
Parents can’t escape the fact that kids use tech from an early age. Completely stripping children from their right to use tech is wrong. But we can contribute to their productive digital development by introducing them to educational apps when they’re young. When our toddler shows interest in screens, we can show them apps like:
- Moose Math – Introduction to math at an early age;
- Learn with Homer – Stimulating reading in young ones;
- Daniel Tiger’s Day and Night– Set up daily routines for children;
- Busy Shapes– Help toddlers learn shapes and forms;
Using tech devices together with toddlers is interesting for parents too because they get to know their kid’s talents and creativity better. On the other hand, preschool children and students can use the following apps to broaden their knowledge and creativity:
- Minecraft – Classic sandbox game that embraces children’s talents and creativity.
- Code Karts– It’s great for introducing children to algorithms and coding;
- Khan Academy– Fun, creative, and simple digital encyclopedia for children of all ages;
All these apps can prepare children for real-life activities. So, combining useful programs like these with real examples is a great way to develop your children’s minds.
How to Know if an App is Suitable for my Child?
Usually, parents choose high-quality educational apps after reviewing the content of the app. Every parent must keep in mind the following factors when picking apps for their children:
- Choose an app that is age suitable;
- Evaluate the content and forbid apps with inappropriate or violent content;
- Avoid apps and programs that have too many advertisements;
- Look for apps that embrace children’s creativity and lets them be themselves;
- Look for apps that create and polish tech, creative thinking, critical deciding, and problem-solving skills;
- Avoid downloading apps from unverified sources;
Digital Literacy Provides Safety
Knowledge gives us power and safety, especially when we use the Internet. Digital literacy helps prepare our children for digital life. Children must be aware of what they post, share, or comment on and recognize the risks that come along with tech usage.
We should also educate them about the existence of cyberbullies and online predators who can use their private personal information. This is a good means of keeping them safe online.
Being a parent is wonderful and challenging at the same time. We make mistakes but that is the way of learning what’s right and wrong. Don’t be hard on yourself, just be there for your children and choose what is best for them. Balancing tech and real-life tasks can help us a lot in building strong personalities and characters.
How can I encourage my child to engage in non-screen activities and hobbies?
Be a role model to your kid. Leave aside all the home activities and work, and make time for walking, sports, or creative activities with your children. When your children see how you manage your day, it will be easy to convince them to have their own hobbies and outdoor activities.
What are the long-term effects of technology use on children’s physical, cognitive, and emotional development?
It depends on how children use tech. If our kids use tech for searching and learning, they will gain IT, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills and improve their lives. But if they use tech for playing video games or watching pointless videos, they will gain physical and mental problems.
How can I ensure that my child is using age-appropriate technology and content?
Usually, kids that watch inappropriate content manifest changes in their behavior. So, if you notice unusual behavior in your children, check up on what they’re watching. If you find any inappropriate content, approach your children and set parental control limits on their devices.
What are the best practices for using technology as a learning tool for children?
Firstly, you must be the one that chooses which programs your children use. After you’ve picked the perfect programs for your children, try using them together. Make learning interactive and fun!