While everyone would agree that overexposure of young children to present-day tech leads to alienation and numerous other negative consequences, shunning your kids from technology isn’t the solution either. Our world is incredibly tech-dependent and it’s getting more so by the hour, which means that shielding your kids too much can end up doing more harm than it does good.
All in all, what you need to do is find a middle ground and set some boundaries that are going to work for everyone’s benefit. This is far from simple, yet, there are several things you need to know when making these household rules.
Understand the risks
The first thing you need to understand is why it is necessary to restrict your children’s exposure to technology in the first place. First of all, there are some claims that this overexposure may cause some troubles with sleep, which is a huge issue for a growing child to begin with. Then, there are studies suggesting that it encourages one’s attention span.
Moreover, a parent doesn’t need studies to know that overexposure to computer games interferes with school work, family time and diminishes child’s physical activity, this is something they see on example day in and day out.
Think about the starting age
Even the most avid hunters and gun supporters won’t hand their kid a shotgun at the age of 3 and, while parents prefer to teach their kids how to drive on their own, they will definitely not start doing this at the age of five. Furthermore, there are some substances which, although not illegal, have their minimum age requirements, which is a rule that should be applied to the topic at hands, as well. The greatest problem with standing up to this is the issue of peer pressure, yet, it is one of the parent’s most sacred duties to boost their child’s resilience towards it.
Getting your kid an iPhone X plus right away might set both a bad example, as well as be a step in the wrong direction. First of all, it’s not about the money, it’s about sending a message and if you teach your kids that they can get whatever they want without investing any effort, you’re setting a dangerous precedent that will later come back to haunt you.
Once you decide it’s time for your kid to have a smartphone, you should look for something modest, seeing as how there’s no such thing as age appropriate when it comes to phone characteristics. The safest way is to look for cheap outright phones Sydney options and look for something you believe to be adequate.
Responsible use of technology
Most importantly, you, yourself have to understand the nature of this relationship. Smartphones, tablets and computers are merely tools, which means that they’re not innately good or bad. This is something you, yourself, need to understand before you start breaking it down to your child. Any device can be used for didactic purposes and, later on in life, it can become one’s best career assistant. Nevertheless, the way in which your child will use it mostly depends on values and principles you instil in them during these formative stages of their life.
At the end of the day, whereas setting boundaries is important, it is definitely not an easy thing to do. Apart from this, your job is never really done. Even the most obedient and well-mannered of children can break the rules at a time and it is your responsibility to recognize these situations and act accordingly. Sometimes being too harsh can backfire and make the situation even worse, yet, this is just a natural part of what being a parent is all about.
I also recently came across a good infographic that provides information on the effects of too much screen time for children, I recommend taking a look!