The Modern Parent: How to Decrease Drawbacks and Increase Benefits of Internet and Tech5 min read
As every period has its benefits and drawbacks, so does the digital age we live in today. In order to succeed in every aspect of modern life, we need to be well aware of both positive and negative things. This is essential as only in that way we can maximize positive things and minimize negative things. Admittedly, every period brings certain challenges. One of the biggest challenges modern parents face is how to establish a balance between using the internet and tech. We can’t completely avoid using it, and we shouldn’t, as it is an essential part of our life.
Keep reading to learn more about the potential drawbacks as well as benefits of kids using tech. Some of the potential drawbacks include lower attention span, privacy risk, obesity, bullying and social interaction issues. Besides the drawbacks, there is also plenty of benefits tech brings us. They include it being a learning aid, a useful classroom tool, a base for tech professions as well as improving various skills. What parents can do is decide how to use media as a family, set limits, be good role models and designate tech-free zones, among other things.
1. Kids and tech: Potential drawbacks
When it comes to kids using tech, if not done under the supervision of parents, it can have several drawbacks.
Lower attention span
The first potential drawback overuse of technology can cause is lower attention span. This is especially problematic for kids when they start attending school. The immediacy that technology brings us makes children uneager to wait a bit longer for something. They expect everything instant. This is so as tech is fast, highly responsive and graphic, so normally, children expect everything in life to be so.
The concept of privacy is somewhat unfamiliar to kids who have been brought up in the digital age. Cybersecurity is a key part of tech nowadays. There are all kinds of hackers and criminals who can potentially harass children, and steal identities. Many pieces of private information are out there, so people can abuse them. As children are unable to grasp these concepts, we as parents must make sure that they are safe online with different preventative measures.
Obesity and bullying
Some other issues that can stem from overly using technology are obesity and bullying. It’s not difficult to see how obesity issues arise: children who spend a lot of time on their phones, tablets or whatever device, are not as active as kids who play outside. On the other hand, bullying among children has always been present. Now, with technology and social media, children can bully other children even without having to face them. It’s called cyberbullying. We need to instil certain qualities in our children to help them overcome such issues. You can do that by talking to them, and by being involved in their life. What’s more, make sure that your child attends a quality preschool. For example, in early childhood education centres such as Insight Early Learning, different skills and characteristics are nurtured that can help create strong and self-confident children.
2. Kids and tech: Potential benefits
Besides the drawbacks, naturally, there are also multiple benefits of kids using tech in the right way.
Tech is a great learning aid. Different features of tech and media can help children learn many things as well as shape their minds. Moreover, it is also a useful classroom tool that many teachers employ to convey a message. Technology can help in presenting certain concepts, reinforcing them as well as making them more interactive and easier to grasp.
Various improved skills
As far as useful skills that kids acquire, there are plenty of them. The most prominent ones include multitasking, improved visual-spatial development, problem-solving and decision-making.
A base for tech professions
Being surrounded by tech is a great base for future tech professions. It is a fact that the vast majority of jobs of the future will be related to using tech in one or another sense. The world will be dependent on tech experts.
3. How to be a proactive parent
Every modern parent wants to maximize the benefits of tech and minimise the drawbacks. The key is in being proactive.
Decide how to use media as a family
You can start by making a clear media use plan for your family. Make rules on how, when and in what ways the whole family can use tech. It’s important to stick to set rules and be a good role model. Of course, you can even bend the rules on certain occasions.
The next thing to consider is setting limits. This is true for kids of all ages, especially the youngest family members. You should void giving your toddler who is 18 to 24 months old a tech device. The only occasion they should use it is for video chatting with family members. On the other hand, when it comes to children from 2 to 5, you should limit tech time to 1 hour a day. If you can co-view with your kids, then would be ideal. You can connect things seen there to real life.
Designate tech-free zones
You should create some tech-free zones around your house. Everyone should respect the no-screen rules. For instance, there shouldn’t be any phones present during family mealtimes, social gatherings and family bonding times. It’s important to set these rules when kids are quite young.
Focus on face-to-face communication
You should be mindful of not overlooking the importance of face-to-face communication. You should talk with your kids as much as you can as they will develop their communication skills in that way. They can’t learn face-to-face communication through screens.
Don’t use tech as an emotional pacifier
Avoid using tech and cartoons as emotional pacifiers. Even though it can be quite challenging, try to persevere. If you do it once, your kids will know you’ll give in again.
Check the content your kids are watching
Always check what your kids are watching. You should approve every show, app and basically any content.
It’s not easy being a parent in the modern age. However, hopefully, these insightful pieces of information and advice can help you in bringing up your kids in the right way.
Binary Blogger has spent 20 years in the Information Security space currently providing security solutions and evangelism to clients. From early web application programming, system administration, senior management to enterprise consulting I provide practical security analysis and solutions to help companies and individuals figure out HOW to be secure every day.
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