Should we let our children jump into the tech world? Is it safe to let them online? Will their brains get fried? Will they turn into electronics zombies? Will they be socially retarded? Will people think you are a lazy parent?
It’s a fairly new debate. Should your kids play games, search the net, talk to Siri on your iPad, iPhone or laptop?
How much is too much tech?
If we do, how much supervision do they need? How much, how long and how often should they be allowed on the zeroes and ones superhighway?
Let me start out by declaring that each family is different, each child is unique and each parent has different experiences and different opinions based on those experiences.
Some of MY kids (I have 15) were very responsible and could be thrown in the middle of a cesspool and come out clean. Others would struggle, knowing it was nasty stinky but still become a modern day Pig Pen (remember Pig Pen from Charlie Brown?). Others would jump in, lather up in the muck and smile.
So what’s the right answer?
Balance is Key
- Know your child.
- Tailor your expectations to your family goals and to your child’s talents and propensities.
- Consider the Internet and your devices to be tools, not a babysitting service.
- Establish rules/guidelines and stick to them. Regulate!
- Participate – know what your child is doing and why.
- Keep the online activity in an area of your home that is well supervised. Keep the monitor facing out and check on them often.
Should small children own devices?
I know families who have given their four year old their own ipod for watching cartoons. I know others who feel strongly that their child will not own a device and allows only a half hour/day on any type of media. So who is right?
Both of them/neither of them (How’s that for a decisive judgement?).
It’s not our job to judge others. Every child is different. Every parent is different. Our only responsibility is to decide for our own families. We all decide based on our experiences and goals. Those are different in every family.
Pros and Cons of the Tech World
If I have trouble figuring out my iPhone, guess who I ask? Yep, my 9 year old grandson, Isaac.
Don’t judge me! I’m not one of those old grannies that doesn’t know how to send an email or know what a font is.
I’m fairly techy and can pretty much navigate myself around in cyberspace, but I don’t really take the time to learn the minute details of my devices. I have too much else going on to spend time on it.
But my grandson has a naturally inquisitive nature that makes him a prime candidate for the tech world. He’s not afraid to experiment and investigate. I’ve had to hand my iPhone back to him and tell him to undo what he did because he messed it up (In his mind he made it better.).
- To become familiar with devices is a very good thing. To know their way around the web and have experience with searching for answers and solutions to everyday problems can only help a child grow and learn. Formal schooling is good but not the answer. Developing an inquisitive mind and a penchant for searching out answers is extremely beneficial.
- Like it or not this world is high tech and your children will need to know how to maneuver their way around all those 0’s and 1’s.
- Encourage them to learn technology with guidelines, regulations and supervision…lots of supervision. Obsession with technology will become a problem if you are not careful.
- Don’t forgo the other means of education – reading (real tangible, hold in your hands books), playing (this a child’s vocation), experimenting (hands on learning) and watching and interacting with those around them (make them put the devices down and connect with real, live people!).
What say you?
Do you think technology is a good thing?
Do you regulate and supervise your child’s online activity?
I am concerned about people today – not just kids. There seems to be less personal interaction. If we are to preserve our sense of community, we need to keep in touch (more than just on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram ).
Shoot me a comment and tell me your opinion.
(I do find it mildly amusing that you are reading this on your laptop, iPad or iPhone.)
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