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Parenting In A Connected World: How Much Is Too Much Technology For Our Kids?

Posted: October 22, 2015

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As parents, we often wonder how to control technology usage with our millennial children. How do we balance the positives of technology with the negatives? The author, who is the mother of an 11-year-old boy, gives us a few tips to stay on track.

Today, technology is growing exponentially. Smart phones are ruling the world and technology is expected to be embedded everywhere. Parenting is lot more fun today provided you are smart enough to control this new wave rather than yielding to the spell of it.

Being a mother to an 11-year old boy, I have experienced the good and bad sides of technology. Here is some useful information for those parents who are anxious about this new trend.

I know that a few parents with traditional views may disagree with this new influence of technology in children. But we have left no choice other than finding the best method to take advantage from this.

Awareness is key

First of all, we, parents must educate ourselves on how to monitor or supervise our children’s activities online. This is simple if you have genuine interest to learn and understand new things rather than shunning it completely.

Educate your child about the power of human connections, especially of his own potential to contribute to this world. I have seen many children growing in a very unconscious manner, blindly following others, copying and comparing themselves with neighbours or classmates. This attitude kills the dynamism in young children. Teach him or her that life’s purpose is much more than any sort of addiction. Slowly educate them to find the true purpose in their own life.

Discipline is as important too

When it comes to television and sport channels, children can follow cricket, football or any sport but never let the sport or hobby get to their head. Children must enjoy watching world cup or other tournaments but as a parent you must set an example in front of them. Convince them that their potential is equal to Messi’s or Sachin’s and this is their time to work hard and to improve their life in order to reach to their levels. Education is very important and is the first step to discipline. I often hear parents say that marks are not important and that Bill Gates was a college dropout but dear parents, do you know that Bill Gates was in Harvard and to enter that institute, he needed high level of basic education! So even if your kid is a genius in sports, you must encourage her or him in getting good marks too as any sportsman needs discipline to complement her or his skill.

Technology as educational tools 

Today, it is easy to prepare for any exam as all the resources are available at your finger tips. Make use of it. The Internet is a great help if your child likes to read. You can buy books online or even download free books. Movies are windows to the outer world through which children can learn and improve creatively. Even video games, if used in a controlled manner, are helpful in a child’s brain development and for a fast thinking mind. A study says that video games can enhance the problem solving capabilities in children.

Surveillance cameras

There are plus sides to digital inventions. Working moms who might be forced to leave their baby with nannies are finding the surveillance cameras to be a boon. Even though they know that their love is all the child needs at this stage, sometimes it might be mandatory that both the parents work.

Never take these technologies as a substitute for your love and care. You must constantly have a rapport with your children. Sit and read with them, watch their shows and movies.

Establish ground rules

There are certain areas where parents must need to tighten the rules. Allot strict time schedule for gadgets and never let the gadget control your kid’s mind. Enforce strict kid-safe filtering methods for internet. There are many child-safe browsers and proxies available, so educate yourself about it. Never forget to set time for outdoor games for kids. Encourage your child to play outdoor every day.

Never take these technologies as a substitute for your love and care. You must constantly have a rapport with your children. Sit and read with them, watch their shows and movies. Your love must be powerful enough to guide and light their paths. Don’t leave them alone in the so called  “sophisticated” world when they are too young and too innocent to face it.

Image via Shutterstock.

Deepa.R. Krishnan✍ A Public Relations Consultant in Dubai. Digital content creator. Cherie Blair foundation

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