Your Kids and Tech: Doing it right

Your Kids and Tech: Doing it right
Mum gets a new Phone for Daughter

​​Okay, we’ll be honest!

While we look forward to your coins when you shop for those Children’s day gifts from us, (because you would), the children receiving these gifts also matter to us; hence our blog post today

In these times, it would appear that you are the most loving parent when you can provide your kids with every latest gadget because you want them to be the cool kids on the block.

While this love language may not be bad in itself, it’s never too early to help them learn healthy concepts of digital use and citizenship. Parents play an important role in teaching these skills and it is only right that you are proactive and deliberate about it.

So we pulled up a few tips that should come in handy when you are dealing with your young ones:

1. Keep a tab on your child’s digital consumption

You can do this by regularly checking the following: 

Are they accessing age-appropriate content? 

Are the apps they use interactive and thought-provoking rather than passive? 

Not all screen time is equal and here’s what we mean. In an interesting food analogy, 100 calories from a doughnut is not the same as 100 calories from a salad, in the same vein an hour watching YouTube videos isn’t the same as an hour spent in a digital art program.

Are the privacy settings for older children’s social media and other online accounts set to restrict what strangers can see and who can contact your children?

Teach them to value family time

2) Set screen time limits

You want to set screen time limits because it sets the pace for getting your kids to participate in other activities beyond screens and tech. You can draw firm lines for tech-free times, such as during dinner, in the car, or on school nights.

3) Lead by example

Actively modeling the right digital media usage for your kids is a winning way to encourage the same behavior from them. Use media the way you want your children to.  Follow common-sense rules around tech like never texting while driving and avoiding oversharing on social media. 

By practicing what you preach instead of the hypocritical “do as I say not what I do” approach, you show the habits you want your children to pick up and show them that there are times for using technology and times when we should be present in the real world.

4) Research the “apps for kids”

With the thousand of app promising “educational and Interactive benefits”, very few actually leave up to this value. If you can download apps and judge that it’s not giving promised value, think of the same thing with your kids’ applications. Beyond the ratings and downloads, look to organizations like Common Sense Media for reviews about age-appropriate apps, games, and programs to guide you in making the best choices for your children.

5) Don’t use technology as an emotional pacifier.

Mum upset by daughter’s tantrum

Media can effectively keep kids calm and quiet, but it should not be the only way they learn to calm down. Children need to be taught how to identify and handle strong emotions. Come up with activities to manage boredom, calm down through breathing, talk about ways to solve the problem, and find other strategies for channeling emotions.

6) Remember kids will be kids

However, incidences like sexting, bullying, or posting self-harm images, may hint at a bigger problem. In such a case a parent must observe carefully their children’s behaviors and, if needed, enlist supportive professional help, including the family pediatrician.