How Much Tech Does My Child Need To Be Successful?
We are living in an unprecedented world filled with technology. Access to mobile devices, the internet, and the ability to seek and share information in ways unimaginable only 20 years ago are changing the way we live, work and play. It’s also having a drastic effect on how we parent. Because technology has taken such immense leaps forward in the past couple of decades, parents are struggling with raising their kids in a modern era that has no precedent. When they were children, easily accessed technology like smart phones were not in existence and so there were no models of how to properly use it.
Modern parents struggle with walking the line between making sure their children have access to the right technology to set them up for future success while making sure their kids aren’t tied to their tech 24/7. If you have younger children, you are probably wondering how much technology your child actually needs to be successful — and where the cut-off point is. Here are some tips that will help you raise a successful child in this new technology-driven era.
It’s Not About the Amount of Tech But How They Use It
A little bit of technology can go a long way if used properly. That being said, a lot of technology can be counterproductive to success if it is used as a distraction and consumption tool that prevents kids from developing imagination and personally interacting with peers, parents and educators. Should your child have access to a laptop or mobile device where they can research school papers, share creative ideas, and write or create graphics? Absolutely. But that doesn’t mean they need each new tech gadget that comes out so they can waste hours a day playing video games or surfing social media platforms.
Moderation and Oversight is Key
Parents need to be aware of how much time their children spend on technology and what they are using it for. Even if they use the tech in a constructive way, there should still be a limit to it. Many parents find that creating tech-free blocks of time at home is helpful in facilitating personal interaction and ensuring their kids don’t get too attached to their devices. Parents should never shy away from putting parental locks in place on their kids’ technology or checking text messages and emails to ensure their kids are safe and using tech appropriately. They should also make a point to talk with their children about the dangers of using technology inappropriately and make themselves available to questions from their kids.
Talk with Teachers
Do you know how your kids’ teachers are using technology in the classroom? You should. Make a point to talk with your children’s teachers to find out how much tech they use and if they need access to it outside of school hours. You want to make sure your child has a chance to master the technology that will affect their schoolwork. This means giving them access to educational apps or websites that are teacher-approved and helping them understand the technology if they are struggling with it.
Every parent in this day and age struggles with the question of how much technology their child actually need and how much is too much. If you have young children, you can benefit from talking with other parents to see what has worked for them and to problem-solve together. The key to make sure your children have access to and a good grasp on the technology used in their school, but that they also have plenty of tech-free time to just be kids.