Being a parent in the 21st Century can be hard especially when it comes to technology. Tech and gadgets can also help you become a better parent thanks to apps, YouTube videos, and online support platforms. It has both pros and cons depending on how you and your children decide to use it. For the best results in children and tech usage, here are a few tips.
Limit screen time
Children below the age of 13 should maximize their time as children. They should play outside and have physical interactions with their peers, etc. While they can also have fun on their tablets or playing video games and such, this should not be the norm. You should try to limit the amount of time they spend on their gadgets and devices to be quarter of the amount of time they spend outdoors. Teach them how to prioritize physical interactions over virtual ones.
Set parental guidance
Whether it is the TV program menu, or access to the internet, always make sure to use parental guidance where possible. Parental control allows you to bar channels or apps that you believe are too mature for your child. They often have settings and tools that need proof of age or passwords for them to grant any access. If you choose to use passwords, make sure to keep them out of reach from your children. By using parental controls, you limit the kind of information your child absorbs until the time they are able to grasp and process them.
Supervise internet usage
For children under the age of 16, parents should try to check and control all internet activity. When children are below the teenage bracket, it is important to keep them away from the internet altogether. Unless you are there throughout their watching child-safe YouTube videos etc. However, for older children who are harder to restrain, you can not only place parental controls but also make some features and search results completely inaccessible. Children are gullible and easily preyed on by malicious individuals on the internet. To avoid this, make sure you check their social media activity, their search history, and general internet activity. While you should give them space and privacy especially as adolescents, it is important to keep them safe. Make sure you talk to them about the dangers of careless online presence and create an open channel to you in case they need help.
Have family tech time
For a healthy tech use among kids, you can create a family tech time where everyone gets to use their gadgets together. This way, you can still spend time together, while giving your kids their space. You can also subtly keep an eye on their activity during this time and give a helping hand where needed. To make this time even more effective, create tech-free zones or days where you spend time together without any tech distractions. As a parent, you can set a good example by sticking to these guidelines, thus making it easier for them to follow suit.