Technology is a hot commodity that has shaped the way in which we interact and learn in the 21st century. Children born during the fast paced technological era have essentially been conditioned since inception. Often times, children see parents and classmates utilizing some form of technology in their households . Surprisingly, some children have access to tablets and smartphones before they can walk or even talk. The prevalence of technology has not gone unnoticed and while there are benefits to technology, there are potential consequences to excessive technological consumption.
Anything consumed in excess is never a good thing and parents should be mindful of the time their children spend engaged with technology. Some tips when introducing your child to the world of technology, are to communicate about healthy boundaries when accessing technology. KidNation encourages discussing with children your concerns and what constitutes as healthy technological consumptions. As technology continues to advance and new devices become accessible to the public, it is crucial to educate yourselves on the appropriate device for your child’s age. While tablets and Ipads are some of the most popular devices among children, you’ll discover that as children approach their teenage years, they began to prefer smartphones over tablets. Studies have found that 39% of Children in the US own a smartphone.
Although there are some drawbacks to this influx of technology, there are also some benefits as well. Technology aids in improving socialization skills and relationship building. Other benefits include improvements in problem solving and enhanced learning and hand-eye coordination. There is also something to be said about how technology breeds creativity and freedom of expression. These benefits only increase as the children mature. The introduction of new technology can be a daunting concept for parents not familiar with current technology. Even the most seasoned parents may have issues when it comes to introducing new technology to their children. There are some universal safety rules children and parents should know and be prepared to follow. Children should always be reminded to never communicate with strangers on the internet and to always protect their private information. You’ll be happy to know KidNation values the safety of your children on the internet and has created a safe space where kids can express themselves freely. KidNation has also created a worry free environment for parents who may be apprehensive about allowing their kids to navigate the internet without constant supervision. The KidNation platform features a simplified user interface, parental control features and unique dashboard tools. These measures allow parents to limit screen time and even control content features. Although new technology can be scary to navigate initially, it does not have to be when choosing the right platform for your children. When thinking of appropriate and quality content for your child’s digital consumption, look no further than KidNation.com.
How much is enough? Explaining current event topics to younger children (article)
- Access to media/news gives children information they may not know how to digest (i.e, children know before we have a chance to tell them what is going on) — children may confuse facts with fears
- How much is explained should be based on their age and personality–age appropriateness of the topic and its details and your sense of your child’s temperament — a blanket rule is to wait until your child is 7 to go into more depth about topics that don’t affect them personally.
- Reassurance of your duty to keep them protected and sharing tips on how to stay safe if necessary
- Explain things clearly and precisely, without going into too much detail
- Be open to and accepting of all types of questions
- Ask them questions about how they feel about a topic, if they are able to independently digest it
- If your kid wants to be involved in choosing safe content, find reasonable ways they can take action like writing letters to politicians or attending child-friendly protests
How much is enough? Explaining current events to your kids
As parents we hope that childhood is a safe time for our kids without the worries of the real world. [But with so much of our lives intertwined with technology and social media, our kids are exposed to more news than ever before.] In this age-of-information, many parents are uncertain about how to deal with their children’s constant exposure to current events. At KidNation we wanted to help out so we put together some tips to help guide you in the right direction:
- If you can, wait till age 7 to start explaining current events: According to child psychologists, age 7 generally is when kids can begin to understand more about their place in the world in relation to others. So if you can, wait till age 7 to start giving them details about current events.
- Consider your child as a unique individual: Each of our children are special. It is important to think about your child’s specific temperament and maturity level when considering how they may respond to learning about current events.
- Ask them how much they know: Chances are, your child knows some things about current events via their interactions with the internet. It is a good idea to plainly ask them “What do you know about xyz? And how does that make you feel?” This is a good way to gauge just how much you need to explain to them and how much should be saved for later.
- When explaining an event or social issue, use clear and precise language: Explain what is happening, who is being affected and why this is the case, if you can. There is no need to go into extreme detail with younger kids, but it is a good idea to speak more freely with your teenagers if they are interested in learning more.
- Be open to any and all questions: Your kids should feel like they can ask you anything about situations they don’t really understand, so make sure that you invite and accept their questions. It can help them to make sense of the things they see happening around them.
- Lastly, reassure them that you are doing everything to keep them safe
Your kids may have feelings of fear about their own safety, especially if they see other people’s safety being challenged. Assure them that you are their guardian and that means keeping them and the family safe, regardless of what is going on outside the home.
All of these tips should of course be vetted by you as the parent, the one with the best understanding of your kids. Although this age-of-information can be overwhelming to people raising children, it can also be a blessing. We are now able to raise knowledgeable children who are invested in the state of the world. This is the first step to raising a strong generation that can make the world a better place.