As a parent, we are always concerned how the usage of technology affects our children.
On one hand, it is important that children get used to technology as schools are starting them from a young age; on the other hand, technology affect children’s mental and physical states.
Together with how convenient how tablets are as good baby-sitting devices to keep children still during meal times, most parents struggle to draw a line between normal and excessive usage.
Your worries about technology affecting your child is a totally legitimate concern but while there are drawbacks, there are also good things (!) associated with the use of technology for children.
In this article, we will explore the effects of technology on our children, including the potential benefits and risks as well as strategies to help parents manage their children's tech use.
Is Technology Good or Bad for Your Child?
Yes and no. Technology has benefits for your child in this digital age, but it also has risks that you need to be aware of.
First, let’s talk about the benefits!
1. Educational Opportunities
Technology can give your child access to a wide range of educational information and resources. For example, online classes, learning materials and educational games which help children easily understand their lessons and might help them gain exemplary skills and knowledge.
2. Improve Social and Communication Skills
Technology enables children to communicate with their friends conveniently, whether it is through text, email or video calls. This can help children develop important social skills, such as empathy and understanding, which will benefit them in future.
3. Improves Creativity
Technology provides children with the tools to express themselves in new and creative ways, from digital art to music production, which can help them to develop their imagination and creativity.
However, if technology is abused and supervision is neglected, that is when the risks will be present.
With moderate and supervised use of technology, we can avoid these risks:
1. Poor Sleep
The blue light emitted by screens can disrupt the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep. This can lead to difficulty falling asleep, which can affect children's physical and mental health.
2. Poor Social Skills
Children who spend a lot of time using technology may have less time for face-to-face interactions with others, which can lead to social isolation and poor social skills.
3. Exposure to Inappropriate or Harmful Content
Children may be exposed to inappropriate or harmful content online, such as violence, hate speech and sexually explicit material. This can have a negative impact on children's emotional and mental well-being.
It is definitely not advisable to ban your child from a phone or tablet as it only increases curiosity and some undesirable behaviours (consider that your child might access it secretly with his/her friends and access unmonitored content).
So how can we work with technology for our children? These are some tips we suggest.
1. Set a Time Limit
Establish rules for your child, such as setting a time limit and giving them a schedule for when to use and not use the phone or tablet. Parents can set a daily limit of 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the age of the child.
2. Monitor Content
Keep an eye on the websites and apps your child uses. Set parental controls to block inappropriate and harmful contents. There are apps that you can use to monitor and block unwanted content.
3. Prioritize Interactive Activities
Encourage your child to interact with their peers and families in person, and discourage them from using technology during meal times, family events, and other social activities.
Our advice? Keep the tablet and phone during meal times. Talk to your child and discuss about topics instead be it gaming topics, tech topics or just simple observations.
4. Sleeping Routine
Avoiding screen time at least one hour before bedtime is a good habit to slow the brain down and get to sleep easier. Put a bowl in the living room and get your children to put their handphones in the bowl before heading to the bedroom to do a light activity like reading.
5. Be an Example!
Children copy what they see in adults, so as a parent, show your child that you have a balanced approach to using technology.
The lessons at Mentalmatics consist of not just learning, but games, songs and group work.
These activities are carefully thought out for each lesson for the purpose of promoting interactive programs that strengthen your child’s social, mental, and physical skills.
Classes are held in groups, which encourages your child to initiate interactions among their peers while learning the use of the abacus which promotes brain development and math learning!
To find out more, make a reservation to talk to us from the link below!