Kids are surrounded by technology in a way that no other generation has experienced. Technology can be a great thing in your life as long as you maintain a healthy relationship with it. Building that foundation in childhood can help set children up for a positive lifelong experience.
Even though technology has permeated every aspect of our lives, it is important to set limits and boundaries and ensure children take some time away from their phones and screens. Encourage your child’s other interests and offer activities that don’t require technology such as outdoor activities and reading. Set a time of night after which no technology is allowed and make bedrooms screen free zones to ensure they get their much needed sleep.
Focus on the positive
Technology has so many amazing uses and provides opportunities for learning that it can be an asset to kids as long as we focus on the positive aspects. Choose media, apps, and interactive technology that stimulates learning, good manners, and life skills. Use technology as a way to connect as a family instead of a way to disengage. Apps like GeoZilla can help make families feel closer even when they can’t be together and highlights positive ways to use technology for kids.
Prepare them for the negative
Unfortunately, not all uses or users are utilizing technology in a positive way, especially as children get older. Help prepare your child by highlighting the positive uses and providing them a place to turn with questions and concerns. Let them know that what is online isn’t always reality and that you are there for them.
Set an example
The best way to teach your children how to interact with technology is to set a positive example yourself. Be sure to set aside time where you disconnect from technology and connect one on one with your child. Setting rules that the whole family must follow will go a long way also, such as designating certain times and rooms as tech free. Or taking whole days off to spend as a family and encourage outside interests.
Technology can be a blessing in our busy lives and when used correctly can bring a family closer together. However, learning to use it in a healthy way is something every child will need to be taught. Healthy habits start at home and will build a positive relationship with technology to carry kids through their whole lives.