Technology is all around us. From mobile phones and tablets to smart TVs and gaming devices, we interact with tech every day. In the modern world we live in, the use of technology is inevitable for everyone. But how should parents introduce it to children? There are different schools of thought on this. Some believe that technology and children don’t mix at all. Others feel it’s a part of life, so it’s acceptable to allow kids to use it.
Since technology isn’t going anywhere, this can be an area where parents can control the narrative. You can introduce tech to your children and then teach them how to have a healthy relationship with it.
Not only can you help them develop healthy habits early, but you can also teach them safety. Several tech options exist with different ages in mind to help keep children safe as they navigate this world. Check out the tips below for how to handle introducing technology to your children.
As with anything you do with your children, set limits. Just as you limit sugar, limit how much they get to use technology. When you first introduce tech, start slow. For kids younger than 2 years old, make sure you’re monitoring what they watch online. Don’t just hand them your phone to “babysit” them for hours.
At that age, they learn more by physically participating in activities, and they need play time. As they get older, set time limits for how your kids are on tablets or use your phone. Kids can become somewhat obsessed with screens. Setting the expectation early that they only get so much time online as opposed to having free reign can help. This structure can also help them begin to form healthy habits with digital media.
As your child gets older, you might be considering getting them a phone of their own. A way to introduce that responsibility slowly is through a phone for kids. This can be a great option because it allows your growing child to connect while limiting online activity. These phones don’t allow online browsing, apps, or sending pictures. You can rest assured your child isn’t seeing things they shouldn’t this way. It also helps keep them safe from connecting with strangers online.
Develop a Family Plan
The way technology is used in your household should reflect your style of parenting. When giving your child a new piece of tech, set rules and expectations up front. For example, if you’re giving your 9-year-old a tablet, make sure they know their time limits. Also make sure they know when and where they can use it.
Creating a family plan around technology use can help everyone stay on the say page. It can let the family know what time they need to turn in devices at bedtime. The plan also helps outline an appropriate and inappropriate use of devices. This takes away some of the unknowns and fights when the plan might be violated.
For example, say your child knows they aren’t supposed to use their tablet after 9 p.m. You catch them using it and remind them of the consequences. Taking it away and grounding them from it for a few days shouldn’t be a surprise.
Likewise, if the family plan says you aren’t supposed to have phones at the table, that rule sticks, too. The kids might even bust you or your spouse for having your phone out.
Model the Behavior You Expect
If you don’t want your kids using their tablets or phones during mealtimes, then put yours away as well. During family time, don’t ignore each other with screens. Set yours down, make eye contact, and engage with your family. Little eyes are watching and learning. They sense when it feels like they have to fight for your attention over your phone or computer.
If you have rules about time limits, you can instill that by limiting yourself, too. Try using verbal cues. Saying, “I’ve been on my tablet for 30 minutes; it’s time for a break,” shows your kids you can self-regulate. This helps teach kids healthy examples of usage by watching you.
When modeling behavior, also make time to talk about safety. This can be a good time to discuss why we don’t talk to strangers online. You can also talk about what’s appropriate or inappropriate to share online.
Kids can also learn to be good consumers of technology by using it together. You can sit with them and help with a homework project online. You can also let them teach you how to play their favorite video game. If you have a console gaming system, that could be a fun family game night. Interacting together while using technology in a competitive game of Mario Kart can get the whole family laughing. Read more mangadex
Have Tech-Free Time
It’s all about balance in introducing technology to your children. You want them to be able to interact with it in healthy ways. It’s okay to have tech-free time. In fact, it can go a long way in helping with their development and creativity.
A good mix of understanding that there is time for screens and time to be present is key. When you have grandparents or family visiting, make that screen-free time. This can show kids the importance of connecting when people we don’t see often are visiting. Designating meals as a tech-free time also lets you connect as a family.
During the tech-free time, you should also abide by that as parents. It’s hard to tell your children to put away devices when visiting grandma if mom is sitting there browsing Facebook. visit the site beetv
Technology is here to stay. Introducing it to your children in these ways can help teach them to have a healthy relationship with it. Helping them self-regulate and create boundaries can go a long way in creating these healthy ties and keep your kids safe. Understanding how to balance tech with interpersonal relationships will also set them up for success as they continue to grow. click here youtuber streamer