Raising a Balanced Technological User
There is no doubt that children are currently being raised in the decade of technology. It surrounds us everywhere we go, which is why it is beneficial to raise your child as a balanced technological user so they can benefit from technology rather than be a slave to it.
Set Ground Rules
Children thrive in structure. Set ground rules, but not at the expense of your child’s development. Your ground rules may be something like:
- No technology during mealtimes
- No technology after 8pm (explain that their brains need time to slow down so they can quickly fall asleep)
- Technology should be used for 20 minutes, with a five minute outside break in between.
This structure lets your child know exactly what they can do. However you can let them develop their independence and self-confidence by giving them the opportunity to choose which games they would like to play.
There are some things that are easier and more fun to do using technology rather than offline. However, children have learnt new skills before the existence of technology – so it is definitely possible to learn without gadgets.
For your child, this may mean teaching about the wonders of nature by going for a walk and pointing out different types of leaves and birds. You could teach them about history by going to a museum, or about animals by taking them to the zoo. Children are naturally curious, so let them explore this curiosity and willingness to learn in different ways. After all, it is good to have choices
Studies show that one of the biggest influences on a child’s behaviour is the behaviour of those around them. Therefore, if you want to raise a balanced technological user, you have to be one yourself.
Lead by example. Avoid checking your phone every five minutes and consciously put it away. When you are eating, for example, you can direct your child’s attention to your acts by saying out-loud “I’m going to put my phone away now” and focus on the meal or cooking.
This shows your child that it is possible to achieve what you would like them to do.
Use gadgets with your child to show that not only do you understand the importance of technology, but that it shouldn’t play an overwhelming presence in anyone’s life. By not discouraging technology, you are also not making it something secretive and elusive that they will want it more.
Using technology with your child will prevent them from becoming too dependent on it, as they will begin to see it as something that helps enrich their lives, but not necessarily run it.
You can also set parental controls on gadgets, so you’ll know what your child is using them for.
Questions? Feel Free to Contact Us
While technology is an essential part of everyday life, at Mindarie Keys Early Learning School we believe early learning should be encouraged through outdoor play in natural environments. If you have any questions about our programs for babies, toddlers and kindy, feel free to contact us on 08 9407 9388. We will be more than happy to help you.