In 2018-2019, kids and technology go hand in hand. As a parent, you want to shield your child from digital dangers and watch what they’re doing. Here’s how.
Did you know children under the age of 18 spend approximately seven hours per day on digital media?
It’s ok to be concerned about your kid’s use of technology.
Are you worried about the harm this could be causing to your child’s health? Are you eager to shield your kid from the dangers of online predators?
In this article, we will provide you with 8 safety tips on how to be a parent in an age when kids and technology walk hand in hand. Let’s go!
Table of Contents
1. Introduce a Media Use Plan
Playing games on tablets and messaging friends on smartphones can often come before family time. As a parent, you need to make sure the use of technology does not interfere with other important things in the family home.
Our lives have been improved by technology. Where would we be without our cell phones now?
However, research has shown that there are associated health problems from overuse of technology. For example, there is a correlation between the number of hours looking at screens and the growth of obesity in children.
Your child may enjoy watching videos and playing games indoors, but they also need to be encouraged to go outdoors and do physical activity.
By introducing a media use plan, you can manage how much time your child spends using technology.
Why not impose a maximum allowance of a particular number of hours per day to use technology? Have you considered introducing a routine time every day when your children don’t use technology at all?
2. How to Treat the Virtual World
It’s easy to treat the virtual world children inhabit differently from the rest of your child’s life. But, you need to be consistent in parenting.
Do you set limits on how much candy your child can eat per day? Then, you also need limits on how much time your kids can play on their tablets.
Do you think it’s important to know who your kid plays with at school? Then, make a point of getting to know the other children your kids play with online too.
View here if you’re worried about what your child gets up to in the virtual world.
3. Make Media Time Family Time
Time spent looking at screens doesn’t have to be a solo activity. Take advantage of technology as a chance to spend time together as a family. Watch a movie together or play video games with your child.
It’s not just fun. There are skills you can teach your child by playing games on devices together. Why not encourage your kid to play an educational game?
Teach your kid important lessons about the value of being graceful in defeat by playing a video game together.
Share your personal life experience with your kid by watching an old movie together.
4. You’re a Digital Role Model
In the mainstream media, we hear about how millennials are addicted to their smartphones. Sometimes, this is the bot calling the kettle black.
In fact, the data says people between the ages of 35 and 64 are the most common age group to use technology during meal times, according to HuffPost.
Remember your children are watching your behavior and copying it. You’re their role model for how to use technology in different situations.
Show your kids how to behave and engage with technology responsibly. There’s nothing worse than parents who don’t live as they preach.
For example, if you introduce to them safe security principles when working online, then they will probably adopt these principles to their own digital life when they grow up.
5. Digital Detox Zones
Do you have digital detox zones in your family home?
For many families, nobody is allowed to have technology at the dinner table during meal times. Whereas, for others, the children’s bedrooms need to stay free of technology at all times.
According to a study by the University of Washington, 40 percent of 3-month old babies are regularly watching television.
If this is just the television in the background of the room, get out of the habit. Turn off the television when nobody is watching.
6. Don’t Use Tech as a Pacifier
According to the Telegraph, the use of tablets and other tech devices to pacifying children could harm development.
When your child is having a tantrum, don’t just hand them a device to play on. This may calm them down for a while. However, they’ll always expect to be rewarded with playtime when they misbehave.
Avoid the easy route! Your kids need to learn to handle their emotions and deal with boredom without resorting to technology.
7. Take Advantage of E-Learning
The e-Learning industry has grown tremendously over the past few years.
You don’t have to leave your child to play a mindless computer game. Instead, encourage your kids to download and play educational Apps.
8. Privacy and the Dangers of the Internet
Inform your child about the value of privacy on social media and other online forums. Start a conversation about sexting and online predators with your child.
Ensure your kids know about the consequences of posting on social media. It doesn’t go away even if you delete it. They need to know what is considered inappropriate and illegal imagery.
Kids and Technology
Of course, you can’t stop your children from using technology. In the 21st century, kids and technology are stuck together at the hip.
As a parent, you want your child to be safe and responsible with how they interact with technology.
By following our 8 safety tips, you can ensure your child stays safe while also taking advantage of the amazing technological opportunities around.
If you want to find out more about tech in the 21st century, get in contact with us today! We’re always happy to hear from you!