In this day and age, gadgets have become necessary for everyday living, to the extent that we cannot live without them. If using gadgets is crucial for us, who still remember the days before Information Technology and the Internet, how much more it will be for younger children, who were exposed to these gadgets since birth? So, here are some things you need to remember when you, dear parents, expose kids to gadgets.
Don’t Expose Young Children to Gadgets
The first years of a child’s life are a time for crucial brain development, which is why toddlers should not be exposed to gadgets such as tablets and smartphones. In fact, during my General Psychology class, my prof, Dr. Queena Lee-Chua, mentioned to us that when we become parents, we should not let our kids touch gadgets when young, since gadget use can be detrimental to attention spans. So, let the kids explore the outside world and read books. Save the gadgets for when their brains are ready.
Start with Bigger Gadgets
When you do start introducing your kids to gadgets, start them big, with the desktop computer. This is because it is easier to see what the kids are doing with a full-size computer. Also, it takes less effort to limit screen time, since it is impossible to use a desktop computer without taking frequent breaks. After all, it is only right to let the kids learn gadgets the same way most of us learned, with the good old desktop.
Take Advantage of Parental Controls
Operating Systems, like Windows 10, have various family options which will help you, dear parents, control your kids’ usage. In fact, for Windows, you can control the websites the kids visit, the amount of time they spend, and even what they do online. So, dear parents, take advantage of parental controls, for they can relieve your worries with regards to your kids’ computer usage. These controls can even protect your devices from viruses as well, since sketchy websites can infect them with malware.
Limit Their Screen Time
Even if parental controls allow you to easily limit screen time, please still remind your kids to limit their screen time to around an hour or two a day. This is to protect their eyes from strain, and to prevent them from being hooked. However, older kids may have more screen time, especially when they have research requirements for school, but make sure they don’t spend all night in front of a screen. Also, encourage them to take frequent breaks, to allow them to gather their thoughts and rest their eyes.
Set a Good Example
As parents, it is very important that you set a good example for your children. This is also applicable with regards to gadget usage. So, it is important not just to protect your children from using gadgets too much, but yourselves as well. Children look up to their parents, so please, be consistent with your behavior, thus, please don’t overuse your gadgets. However, if you use gadgets a lot for work, you have to explain to your kids that it is part of the job. Outside work hours, please limit gadget usage, and bond with the kids.
Educate Kids on Gadget Usage
In the end, it is very important to educate the kids on how to use gadgets, since we cannot escape them. However, it must be done gradually, from desktops to smartphones, so the kids’ brains can develop normally. Also, we must remember that gadgets were made for us, not us for gadgets, so we should always be in control of our usage. Due to this, we must also teach the kids how to control their gadgets.