Parents today are facing a new challenge when it comes to raising their kids: technology. While certain elements of technology were present for the Baby Boomers growing up, such as a television or a landline, it is nothing like it is today and the trend is not showing any signs of slowing down, either. Whether it is a smart TV, an iPad, a smartwatch, or even Alexa, parents are left to wonder about the possible harmful effects of technology on children and how to safely introduce kids to the internet. With this in mind, we felt it was important to share some useful tips on how to introduce your children to technology as well as explaining the benefits of teaching your child technological literacy.
Technology Helps Kids in Problem-Solving Situations
With so many options available in terms of games, apps, and smart devices, it can be a bit daunting to determine which programs are best for your family. However, the benefit of the majority of them is that they will enable children to use their imagination and encourage them to focus on solving the problem in front of them. Additionally, technology serves as a source of encouragement and motivation for children. Angel Watch, the manufacturer of 4G smartwatches for kids, states “Features that get you moving are a component you want. Having motivational quotes or encouraging messages set at specific times throughout your day could be the difference between [your child] meeting [their] goal or falling behind on tasks.” In short, the skills that technology teaches your child can also translate into other areas of their lives such as completing their homework or being more independent.
Access to Relevant Information
For better or worse, there is a plethora of information readily available online for your child to digest. While we encourage you to take the necessary steps to ensure your child is safe online, allowing them to explore the World Wide Web fosters curiosity and decision-making skills. Hughesnet explains, “The advantages of easier access to information extend past the classroom into general knowledge gathering. When kids can figure out how to answer their own questions, it can encourage them to research further and follow independent trains of thought.” In short, technology can be the answer to ending the dreaded “why” phase by encouraging them to learn the answer for themselves — within reason and safely of course.
Improves Their Language Skills
Technology as an educational tool goes back as far as the days of hitting a button that matched a color on a (loud and slightly irritating) toy. COVID-19 has shown us more than ever before that technology can be used in place of traditional in-person education very effectively. This can even include such intricacies as learning a foreign language. In fact, according to findings posted on ScienceDirect, “Research studies in foreign language areas for young learners indicate that technological development is very important and effective in learning a new language” These benefits are not strictly limited to learning another language either! By introducing your child to a smart device, your kid will learn valuable lessons on how to effectively communicate what they want, which can stop the “pointing phase” dead in its tracks.
In summation, technology can be an effective ally in your child’s development when used correctly. There are obviously different parenting methods and techniques out there, and this is not meant to serve as a lecture on how to raise your kids. It is ultimately up to you and what you feel comfortable to have near your kids. However, technology has a lot of proven benefits and so long as you are taking necessary precautions to keep your children safe online, it can be a valuable resource.