Whether you admit it or not, your child has been exposed to technology at a very young age. Some kids are probably more computer-savvy than their parents. Gadgets, video games, smartphones, and tablets, they know how to use these, even though you can’t remember ever teaching them how to. It looks like they were born knowing how to use technology.
Kids have access to screens all the time. Research shows that average 8-10 years old spends almost 8 hours a day with different types of media, and older ones spend around 11 hours each day with media. That is an alarming number of hours for children to be exposed to all kinds of information. That is a lot more time spend on their screens than the time they spend in school.
There is always the good and the bad side of using technology. Many people see only the negative impact of such technology use, but there are also real positive ones. The real question is: what can parents and adults do to utilize technology in useful ways, without enslaving the children to it and have the negative effects ruin their lives?
Let’s break down the negative and positive effect of technology on your children:
· Lower attention span
· Increased lack of privacy
· Risk of depression
· Failing grades
· Social interaction issues
· Helps them learn
· Classroom tool
· Preparing for future tech careers
· Improved multitasking
· Improved visual-spatial development
· Improved problem-solving decision making
Parents and adults can help children get the positive benefits of technology and lesser of the negative effects. As parents, it is up to you to instill discipline in your child to use technology responsibly. You can always teach them to use technology positively and start them as early as possible.
Here are ways on how you can teach your kids to use technology for good:
1. Become a responsible digital citizen. Citizenship has a greater sense of community. We teach our children to “respect, educate and protect” while they are online.
2. Use gadgets to bond with relatives. Nowadays, bonding and creating relationships with family members are more accessible with the use of technology. It’s always better to bond in person, but if family members live far away, and especially in the current global situation where traveling is challenging, technology can fill that gap.
3. Using smart watches and wearables responsibly. You can let your child use smart watches and wearables to encourage them to be active and helpful with chores. These devices also have GPS trackers that sync to your phones so you can track your children’s whereabouts.
4. Develop their mental muscle. There are specific apps that can enhance children’s ability to concentrate. Other apps help children how to meditate, clear their minds and focus on mindfulness. This can help especially for children with anxiety and attention deficit issues.
5. Express their creativity. A lot of apps help children to express their creativity with photos, coloring, music, or creating their own movies.
6. Prepare for their future. Almost all of today’s job requires the use of technology. Whatever your child’s want to be in future, technology will likely be a part of it. Kids who are computer-savvy, can communicate in an online setting, and have a basic understanding of navigating online, most especially if they can code, can have a real advantage in the future’s workforce.
7. Access to books and school resources. One of technology’s gift to mankind is that information is easier to access, literally at your fingertips. Schools promote and encourage students to submit assignments, do research online and use the school’s website. This helps students carry less books when they go to school.
8. Learning something new. We know, as parents, that for kids, showing is more effective than telling, so technology helps a lot with this. There are many things that we can teach our kids to do using their devices. We can teach them to do crafts, try a Science experiment, bake (with adult supervision) or teach them to code.
These are just some of the ways we teach our kids to use technology positively. There will always be the sinister side of it, and it’s easy to dwell on it and fear it, but then again that’s why we, the parents, are here to guide them and balance the way they use technology.
Start them young
We can always start teaching our kids how to use technology responsibly as early as possible. As parents, we all want to equip our children for a bright future. Skill Samurai equips children with future-ready STEM skills (Science, Tech, Engineering & Maths). Our 'Coding for kids' program helps kids thrive in the classroom and beyond. Here at Skill Samurai, we have classes or camps for kids as young as 6 years old.
Here at Skill Samurai, we also offer 21st Century teaching approaches, ensuring project-based learning. Your child will experience coding on their own using gadgets. Another exciting activity with Skill Samurai is how they include popular games and software that kids love during the coding classes, such as Minecraft, Roblox, and YouTube. Additionally, we also have programming languages like Scratch, Python, HTML, CSS, and more!