Kids start using the internet and digital devices like smartphones and tablets at a much earlier stage in their life. This could expose them to apps that are addictive and result in lack of concentration and focus. However, are there ways kids can make the right use of these powerful technologies without getting addicted. We look at this in this article.
Of course, if kids are to use their devices and the immense power that the internet and modern technology right they will surely need the help of their parents. One crucial step for the parents is to use parental control apps to monitor and control the kinds of websites, apps, and content their kids have access to.
Parents also need to talk to their children about the dangers available on the internet and social media. They need to teach them how to make the right use of tech in order to learn now for a promising future.
Relationship Between Technology and Kids Today
To truly understand the relationship that exists between children and technology today, let’s look at a research study that was conducted in 2009 that will put a lot of things into perspective.
The study found that, on average, most kids spent more than five-and-a-half hours on technologies that weren’t school-related at all. A case of abuse of the internet? Maybe. But the problem goes beyond that.
Children being addicted to technology is no longer a rarity. Compulsive internet use is very prevalent amongst kids. According to statistical data, 95% of eight to eleven year old children have accessed the internet at least once in their lives.
This data doesn’t particularly point to compulsive internet use amongst kids but it does put things into perspective. Technology for kids is growing. Until now, technology for kids has been constrained to the entertainment sector.
However these days, even educational institutions are adopting technology for kids. In short – technology has become indispensable in the lives of kids and some parents have even started leveraging this interdependence to their advantage.
The new world punishments are ‘No Wi-Fi for a week’, ‘Confiscate the PS 4’, ‘No TV for a week’ etc. That’s how some parents get things done by their children. Right or wrong? That’s for you to decide.
This point just further emphasizes how addictive technology really is. Recently, a kid was sent to rehab for playing too much of an online game.
Parents should protect their children from such addictions and one way to do so is by using a good parental control software.
Although parental control is generally frowned on by the new world ‘liberal parents’ in cases of online addiction- there are very few options left for parents to exploit. Avoid using these software as ‘spy software’- that will just vex your children beyond control.
Here is a great infographic on a recent research on children’s behavior in school, which is the highest time spent by a kid.
The Technology Paradox:
Technology for children is both good and bad. That’s where the paradox lies. The next generation and the world beyond that is going to be purely technological. Everything is going to be technology related.
The progress of 3D printing should put the importance of technology for the future into perspective. Therefore, children cannot afford to lose touch with technology. The day that happens they become obsolete in this dynamic world.
And sadly, that’s a fact not a mere opinion. Children without technological awareness face the problem of being constricted with limited opportunities in the future.
However, too much of something is always bad and hence, compulsive internet usage, screen addiction and overall addiction to technology is bad for children.
Over dependence on technology undervalues the importance of social relations, nature & other such beautiful pieces of life. The job of parents is to ensure that there’s a balance that’s being struck here.
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For children addicted to technology, here’s what you can do to rectify the situation:
1. Conduct Regular Fun Activities:
The best way to disentangle the kids from technology is to get them in situations where they are having fun without technology.
The onus to do so lies on the parents. Try to plan regular fun activities in which technology has no role to play. While planning these activities, ensure that the children find the activities fun. Examples: Picnics, long-drives, small treks, visit to the zoo etc.
2. Formulate A Timetable:
The ‘Technology Paradox’ is all about striking a balance. Again, the duty to help kids strike this balance falls on the parents. Children aren’t mature enough to know what’s right and what’s wrong for them.
While technology is good, excessive use of technology is bad and hence, to avoid situations of abusive internet usage- parents should come up with a ‘Technology Usage Timetable’ that has to be strictly adhered to. Expect some resistance at first but keep a strong head.
3. Teach Them Non-Technology Related Activities:
The problem with this generation is that they are born with a smartphone in their hand and hence, naturally, the smartphone becomes a part of them as they grow up.
Decades ago – there were no smartphones and yet, people had all the fun and even more than this generation does. That’s the issue that you have to sensitize children with.
Teach them activities that you did while growing up. It could be a game of hopscotch, making paper planes, catching insects- whatever. The objective is to show them that life is fun even in the absence of technology.
The best thing that you can possibly do is- identify the games that they play on their phone, console etc. and try to get to play it in real life. Take the initiative to encourage the development of hobbies in your children- it could do wonders!
4. Lead By Being An Example:
The best way for parents to reinforce their messages is by practicing what they preach. Make it easy for your child to give up technology. It should not seem like a punishment but it should like it’s the right way to live.
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What To Do When Nothing Else Works?
Try implementing the methods mentioned above. More often than not- they work. However, it does take some time to implement these strategies and it may take even longer for one to see tangible results from this experiment. Give it some time. Be patient.
However, if you still don’t see any change- it’s time for you to unleash the ace that’s up your sleeve: Parental Control Software.
Make it clear that their stubborness has left you to resort to parental control software and apps, likewise. Also, clearly communicate and demonstrate the features of the parental control software so that later on they cannot call it a ‘spy software’ as you have laid everything out in black and white.
Make them understand that it’s for their own good. Such software allow parents to monitor and control the child’s activities.
TiSPY Parental Monitoring and Control Software is a great example of a parental control software. As with all parental control software, it allows parents to monitor their child’s social media interactions, manage calls, track text messages and a lot more.
Today’s generation is addicted to technology and the situation is only going to get worse over time. Technology for children is not bad. It’s good but with limits. Children don’t understand limits and that’s why parents need to intervene and monitor and control their child’s activities sometimes!