As technology is developing rapidly, it started to sneak into every field of our life. We can find smartphones, laptops and TV sets in almost every household and more and more schools are beginning to introduce technology to their classrooms. Its wide presence has raised concerns whether such an exposure limits children’s social skills or is harms their ability to concentrate. Experts are in a costant battle whether the digital media is detrimental for the children’s development or it actually helps kids build their vocabulary/improve decison-making skills etc. Regardless of which side turns out to be right, it is better to stay on the safe side and decrease the screen time as well as make it as valuable as possible.
How to avoid or reduce any negative impact of technology on kids?
1. Monitor the time they spent with digital media
That should be a top 1 rule as many children use technology without parents’ supervision, some of them spending up to several hours in front of screens. According to the research conducted by the Henry J. Kaiser Foundation in 8- to 18-year-olds:
28% said their parents set TV-watching rules
- 30% said their parents set rules about video game use
- 36% said their parents set rules about computer use
APP recommends no more than 2 hours of screen time. Become a role model in this field – don’t let your children see you on Facebook for a several hours or checking your inbox every 5 minutes.
2. Pick quality, educational products
This tip is also worth emphasizing. As we are flooded with thousands of kids’ products, it is essential to make a conscious choice. Focus on educational value, however, don’t forget about picking a product that your child will like as well. Check out our post with sites where you can find quality apps for children and more.
3. Create screen-free zones in your house
Whether it is a kitchen, where family has unplugged meals or a bedroom, try to create a place where using screens isn’t allowed. Remember that this rule applies to you as well – in that way it will be easier to enforce it.
4. Choose active time over passive
If your child is exposed to technology and screens, make sure that the time spent with such devices is active, not passive. Therefore, choose TV programmes or apps that encourage your child to move, answer questions or respond in any way.
5. Don’t allow using two screens at the same time
Children like media multitasking. Eating breakfast while watching TV and using a mobile phone? For some kids it’s a piece of cake. However, regardless of how efortless it may seem for them, it can have a toll on their ability to concentrate. Allow your child to focus on one activity with one screen.
6. Use digital media as an inspiration for active time
Some games, e-books, movies or apps can inspire you and your child for some active family time. An app where your child can create own dishes? – a great idea for creating a meal together. Your child saw a cartoon about animals? Time to go to the zoo or for a walk. This is a great way to create a bond with your children and find out if they learnt anything valuable with the media.
Thanks for reading and see you next week!
Magdalena| Appetite For Education
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