It’s Okay to be Connected.
Let’s have a moment of truth: we allow our children to use electronic devices. Day after day they use phones, tablets, video games, and laptops. While the length of usage varies from family to family, the fact still remains that we allow our children to utilize devices . . . and guess what? I’m here to tell you THAT’S OKAY! I’m reminded of that old saying: “It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it.” Well, that certainly applies to children and teens with electronic devices.
In recent weeks, I have seen numerous moms post about kids and technology on Facebook. One mom of teenagers talked about how she made technology useful for her sons by giving them tasks to do online that could be beneficial for everyday life.
Reading those posts gave me inspiration to give you all four technology tips and tricks for the kiddies, too.
Learn about ways to keep children safe when they are online in order to teach children.
The Internet and devices can be safe if we, as parents, educate ourselves and model that to our children. We can do this by previewing apps and websites. We can also check search histories and flag things we deem inappropriate.
It is also important we teach children that devices are used for other things like making phone calls, sending messages, and getting important alerts (such as school and weather alerts).
Set boundaries for using devices.
Boundaries are extremely important with technology and children. There’s a variety of research on how technology affects children’s brains and behaviors, so we want to be careful. Boundaries with technology include considerations for time and content.
Websites like Mayo Clinic and Baby Center give recommendations for screen time for children. To keep up with those recommendations, apps like Google Family Link (my personal favorite) allow parents to control screen time.
My children are allowed one hour and forty-five minutes of tablet time a day. Their devices lock each day from 7:45 p.m until 4:00 p.m the next day (weekends are a little different). The best thing about this app (and others like it) is that parents control the devices. You can also control the content including which apps are allowed on the devices as well as what can or cannot be searched.
Let them find answers to their questions by searching online.
The more you teach children about being online, the better. I don’t know about you, but my children ask me tons of random things ALL DAY, EVERYDAY. Since Encyclopedia Brittanica is pretty much extinct, my best answer for them is to look it up. I mean, let’s face it, when our kids are in school, that is how they find information. Why not do the same at home? Teach children how to use sites like Safesearchkids.com to find the answer to their intriguing questions.
Allow children to use their devices for everyday things.
Built-in features like alarm clocks, calendars, and photo galleries can be used by children safely. Allowing children to set an alarm clock for school or mark a special event on a device calendar opens a world of responsibility and independence for them. Setting gentle reminders to text parents after school or even using apps for chores can provide accountability practice for young ones.
The world now is technologically-driven and our children are keeping up with the times. As parents, it is essential that we monitor what is going on.
What are some apps or tips and tricks you use for technology with your tiny humans? Let me know in the comments!