Even though you should not allow your children to use gadgets too much or too long, depriving them of the technology is not a good idea either. It is important to maintain a healthy balance in everything, including the use of gadgets and technology like smartphones, social media and TV. In the last article, we learned about limiting and managing the children’s screen time and their use of technology. In this article, we will learn about how we can encourage the good use of technology.
Making Education Easier
Technology does not mean just the violent games and mindless media that most people think it is. In fact, it’s a lot more than that. A lot of the gadgets can actually help your young ones to learn new skills, gain better knowledge, help in schoolwork as well as other aspects of education. It not only makes learning easier but also more fun. For instance, there are many apps and YouTube videos that help your child learn new languages like German and French. These apps and videos can help your child learn even the most complex languages like Japanese and Mandarin. There are many mathematical applications available right in your smartphones that test your child’s arithmetics in fun and colourful ways. There are many e-readers like Kindle and Audible that provide a wide variety of literature.
Teaching About Responsibility
If used correctly, technology can be used to teach your child about responsibilities. Gadgets are the perfect aid to raise your child to be well behaved and responsible. In order to do this, you need to tell your children that they get access to the gadgets if they behave themselves all week. You can make things more fun by introducing a reward chart. For every five stars they get on the chart, they are allowed another half an hour of watching TV or playing on his tablet. Whatever you do, do not provide free access to the gadgets to your child. You can also encourage your child to work harder and do better at school with a promise to buy them the latest gadgets/videogame that he’s been asking for a long time.
Boosting Creativity & Imagination
Watching TV programs like Arts & Crafts shows or documentaries can encourage your child to be more creative and help in boosting their imagination skill. Animal Planet, National Geographics and Fox History are some of the best examples of the channels to watch with your child. There are many drawing and painting applications available in the PlayStore and Apple Store that allow the children, no matter young, to unleash their creativity and imagination power. While many of us argue that drawing on a piece of paper is way more effective, it’s definitely not as clean and tidy, moreover, it requires the parent to constantly supervise the child to make sure that nothing goes wrong. With a smartphone or a tablet, you don’t need to worry about constant supervision, let alone cleaning up after the child is done and there’s definitely no health hazards involved.
Developing New Skills
Some of us may think that handling gadgets and using technology is not a useful skill to have; however, it’s always a good idea to ensure that your children know what they are doing when they are on a desktop, smartphone or a tablet. In the era of online learning due to the pandemic, it is imperative that your child knows how to use various gadgets. At some point in time when the schools reopen and your young ones are back in their classrooms, they will be taken to the computer lab. They need to know what to do when that happens.
As the technology upgrades, your young one will have to upgrade his/her skills and learn to use new gadgets with ease. Otherwise, there’s a fair chance that they will be left out or left behind. Teaching the children to use the gadgets not only helps them in staying updated but also helps them make wiser decisions when buying new gadgets. They will make better choices depending on their requirements when they grow up.
Teaching the Children Discipline and Balance
When children are deprived of the gadgets, they are left with the feeling of being left out. Although they may be able to devote more time to other things, they will always look at their peers and other children with their own gadgets and will yearn to experience what they must be experiencing. This is exactly how most children think and it is important to teach them about discipline and balance between the digital/fantasy world and physical world. Instead of banning the gadgets completely, allow your children to use them and experience them for 30-45 minutes a day. If they stop using the gadgets when the time is up without needing to remind them, reward them accordingly. This will encourage them to develop self control and discipline. It’s always better to allow the good values and habits to develop from the inside than trying to push them from the outside.
Ease in Improving Hobbies & Interests
Does your young one like to draw? There are many tutorial videos available on YouTube that will help them draw better. The same goes for any and all hobbies and interests be it cooking, dressing, singing, dancing, musical instruments, cars, motorcycles, plants, animals and the list just goes on. Any hobby or interest your child may have can be developed and upgraded using the internet, YouTube and a million apps that are available right in your smartphone’s PlayStore.
It all boils down to the basic principles of discipline and balance between when your children are using the gadgets and when they are not, and how they are using them. As a parent, you need to ensure that your children are being taught to use the technology the right way and that they are being shown the good side of technology.