Teaching Children How to Use Technology Responsibly
Nowadays, technology is undoubtedly a big part of our lives, and this comes with its pros and cons. As society at large becomes more and more technological, questions and concerns arise about how children should use technology responsibly. How can it affect their lives and health?
A side effect of using technology unhealthily is that it can create physical and cognitive issues, in adults as well in children. For example, too much screen time can give you headaches and back pain, dry eyes and anxiety.
However, technology is the way forward, so you can’t keep your children away from it entirely. As a parent, it’s important to understand that children will need to use technology throughout their lives. So, parents need to learn how to teach children to use technology responsibly and healthily.
“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.”
– Bill Gates –
Tips to help children use technology responsibly
Negotiate and agree to limits
Although it’s the adult who needs to decide for little children, in some case it’s more effective to negotiate with your children and agree to limits when using technology. Keep doing this as the children grow older. For example, some of these limits can be how much screen time they have or the kind of content they see.
Establish time without using technology
Families should spend some time without screens or gadgets. If it’s necessary, set a schedule where every family member agrees to spend a day without technology and just enjoy family time together. Face to face interactions can also improve your family’s bonds.
Using the 20-20-20 rule
The American Optometric Association warns parents that children could experience the same symptoms that adults suffer when using computers because children are also using technological devices every day. For example, Computer Visual Syndrome encapsulates several visual issues.
One way to deal with syndromes like these, that can affect your sight, is using the 20-20-20 rule. This rule consists of looking away from the screen every 20 minutes, for 20 seconds, setting your eyes on an object 20 ft away.
Children with unrestrained access to the Internet are exposed to all types of content. In cases like these, parental control is your ally. It’ll help you protect your children from unhealthy and risky content.
“If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom or prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner.”
– Omar N. Bradley –
Being a good role model is key
Mobile devices generate a lot of buzz in children and teenagers, but also in adults. Usually, parents are also constantly checking their phones, or spend a big chunk of their time on their computers or tablets.
If you want to teach your children how to use technology healthily and responsibly, you need to change your behavior first. In other words, you need to learn how to use technology healthily and responsibly yourself, so you can then be a good role model for your children.