Over 80% of children over the age of 13 currently own a smartphone. With modern technology like smartphones, tablets, and computers, many parents aren’t sure as to when a child is old enough to be introduced to such technology, and for how long.
If you’re a parent looking to get some guidance on how often your child should be engaging with modern technology, read on for more information.
For Education or Entertainment
Before deciding if you want your child to be introduced to technology, it’s important to be aware of why you want to introduce your child to these devices. We have always used a tablet or smartphone as an easy way to entertain our child while out at a restaurant or simply to get some extra work done. While this is OK from time to time, it’s best not to make a habit of it.
Some forms of entertainment can actually be beneficial to a child’s development. For example, a study that was done on children who watch Sesame Street found that those that did watch Sesame Street have better performance on testing in school.
It was also found that children who watch Sesame Street starting from a younger age, tended to do better on tests than those who watch Sesame Street later in life.
The studies give us some insight into the fact that entertainment can be used to educate children in a helpful and productive way.
However, not all games, apps, and TV shows offer the same educational benefits.
Be honest with yourself. Are you using these tools to further your child’s development, or simply to get a bit of quiet time? If you are using technology to get some me time, you’re not alone. Forgive yourself, and find some educational alternatives that can help stimulate your child’s brain while keeping them busy.
Knowing the Dangers of the Internet
You may think that by simply blocking adult websites, and downloading child-friendly apps, that you’re protecting your children from being exposed to mature content.
Unfortunately, there have been a number of cases in which videos uploaded to YouTube appear to be content for children, but will feature audio or photos mixed into the episode, that can be dramatic to the child.
While YouTube claims that it has installed enhanced filters to prohibit any of these types of instances from occurring, some content has been reported to have slipped through the cracks.
If you are choosing to allow your child to watch YouTube videos on a smartphone or tablet, it’s important to view nearby to make sure that everything being shown is appropriate for their age.
Teaching Your Child to Engage
We live in a world where technology is developing on a rapid basis. This means that those who know their way around various devices tend to have an advantage in both life and the workforce.
Keeping this in mind, you may choose to use technology as an additional skill set for your child rather than a form of entertainment.
From the age of five basic tech skills, such as teaching your child how to power on and power off devices, can help create a basic understanding for the future.
Using Modern Technology for Homework and Projects
Thanks to the rapid increase in remote workers, there is now an abundance of apps and software platforms designed to manage projects, create presentations and even check writing styles.
The same tools can easily be utilized by preteen and teenage children looking to complete their schoolwork. In fact, you may find that many of these platforms are the secret ingredient your child needs to stay organized and be ahead of the class.
A great way to begin to introduce your child to these tools is to lead by example.
For example, when writing your speech for your next presentation, have your child nearby so they are able to observe how you create slides and practice your speech recording.
This will show your child the task that is seemingly difficult can be much easier when the right online tools are applied.
Finding the Right Apps and Software
Once you’ve decided that it’s time to introduce your child to apps and software, it’s your job as a parent to narrow down which will be the most beneficial and safe option for them.
A smart way to handle this is by looking into the app and software reviews before signing up for anything.
Once you have signed up for an app, have downloaded a video, or have purchased educational software, set aside some time to navigate through them yourself.
In addition to ruling out any safety risk, you’ll also be able to gauge whether or not the content is truly within your child’s age range.
Introducing your child to technology that is too advanced for their current age, can create feelings of frustration and doubt within your child.
Finding the Right Tech for Any Age Group
With a bit of research and time invested in teaching your child, you can use modern technology as a strong tool to enhance your child’s development, productivity, and entertainment.
However, if you’re unfamiliar with the different technology options currently on the market, you may need to do some homework yourself before choosing one for your child.
You’ll find news on technology and a number of articles designed to keep you updated on the standing advancements in technology. Since new technology hits the market on such a regular basis, these blogs can offer some valuable insights into the various options for your family.
Whether you choose to read them on your own, or share them with your child, use the information in these blogs to create a healthy understanding of the various forms of technology and how they are used.