Young people and technology go hand-in-hand.
No matter how you feel about smartphones, apps, and computers – the digital era has arrived, and it’s here to stay.
While it’s tempting to stick to your roots and assume that traditional parenting free from technology is the best way forward, the truth is that the world around us is changing.
Your kids see smartphones and tablets the same way you saw the telephone – as a normal part of their lives.
They are likely to use tech in their education when they go to school, and they may be reliant on it for much of their lives.
With that in mind, it makes sense to embrace the benefits that technology can offer and use it to deliver the right kind of parenting.
If you’re ready to overcome your fear of technology and discover the benefits associated with bringing tech into your kids’ lives, here’s how you can get started.
1. Set Your Own Rules
There are many benefits to letting your children use technology, from giving them access to oodles of helpful information, and also giving them a way to communicate with their friends and family.
However, your child probably doesn’t need to become a Twitter Rockstar, or social media expert right now, so it’s okay to limit their exposure to the digital world however you see fit.
Every family will have its own rules and limitations when it comes to creating a media usage plan.
Some parents will allow their kids to use as much tech as they like, provided that they eat dinner with the family and get their homework done first.
Other parents prefer to set a specific time each day for tech use.
2. Explore Technology With Your Children
One of the biggest things that parents worry about when it comes to giving their children access to technology, is that they don’t know what they’re going to be doing on the internet all day.
If you want to stop your youngsters from acting out in the digital world, the best thing you can do is start by introducing them to the internet, phones, and apps early.
Get involved in exploring the safer parts of the internet with your child, showing them how they can stay secure online, and teaching them the basics of cybersecurity.
During these initial moments, you will be setting routines and guidelines on how your child can use technology.
However, you can also have some fun by looking at videos, answering questions together with Google, or looking up recipes for dinner.
As your child becomes more tech-savvy, make sure that you learn the same skills as them, so you can keep up with them when they start exploring the web alone.
3. Discover the Benefits of Apps Together
There’s more to embracing technology in today’s digital world than having a computer in your house.
The chances are that your kids are going to spend more of their time on smartphones and apps.
The good news is that apps can be beneficial for both you as a parent and your child.
- Organizational apps can help you and your child to keep track of your schedule together. You can slot out time for homework each day and set reminders for when you’re going to be doing things together.
- Health apps that help with tracking things like heart rate and blood pressure can introduce your child to the importance of looking after their wellbeing. These kinds of apps are something your child can continue to use and appreciate throughout their entire lives.
- Learning apps allow you to help your child learn new things – even at a very early age. There are plenty of educational mobile apps out there that teach kids everything from basic mathematics to spelling and language skills.
For younger children, apps with colors and shapes can also help them to build basic sensory development skills, which is one of the reasons why so many parents are introducing toddlers to technology today.
4. Mentor and Monitor
As a parent, it will be up to you to introduce your child to the wonderful world of technology, helping them to discover the amazing amounts of information available online, and the things that they can do with specific pieces of software.
However, remember that you’ll need to monitor them as well as mentor them.
Although you will get to a point in your life when your child wants to have his or her own smartphone and keep their conversations secret, you can keep problems to a minimum by making sure that the family computer is located in the living room, where everyone can see it.
It’s also worth working on your relationship with your child and encouraging them to speak openly to you about their digital experiences.
If your child feels frightened about coming to you with any issues they have online, then they could end up getting into more trouble.
An environment of openness where your child is free to be honest with you is much more productive.
Making the Most of Technology
Technology is an incredible thing.
The evolution of tech in various parts of our world has changed the way that we live our lives completely.
Now, it’s also having an impact on the way that we raise our children.
The key to success in this digital era isn’t trying to hide technology away from your kids, but giving them a structured way to learn more about the digital age.