Children these days are growing up in a digital age where swiping on a smartphone or firing up a computer is second nature. While technology really has become a part of everyday life, there is much criticism surrounding children being overexposed to digital media. Parents are often accused of using technology as a substitute babysitter and concerns are voiced about the impact of screentime on both health and learning abilities.
If you find yourself a victim of this criticism, don’t fall for it. Here are some of the reasons why vilifying technology isn’t productive and you don’t need to feel guilty about your child’s screen time.
Whether or not we like it, technology is here to stay. It is continuously changing meaning that users, including little ones, need to keep pace with developments.
Being digitally savvy will be ever-more important in the future and having proficiency in the use of technology will only make your child’s life easier. Navigating technology confidently is a skill that will be handy later in life, as their abilities – and confidence grows.
The importance of technology was never more apparent than during the COVID-19 lockdown. Many school’s used online platforms to connect with children and help them continue learning.
We need to start by separating myth from fact when discussing technology as a tool for learning and focus on the positives. For example, how the internet can help expose children to new cultures to foster a broader outlook.
Again, living in isolation highlighted how digital technology has become the go-to tool for keeping in touch. For instance, video calls let us connect with family members in faraway countries at the touch of a button.
Online social interaction contributes to a child’s ability to communicate. Sometimes it’s easier to build confidence behind the protection of a digital screen. So screen time teaches kids about communication and time spent navigating technology can develop their ability to solve problems logically.
2020 has proved difficult for us all. The fears raised by this global pandemic have unquestionably caused stress and it’s been impossible (and probably unwise) to shelter children from the realities.
Like books, movies, and sport, screentime is just another form of escapism. It allows us to take a break from the problems of our daily lives. So, if this provides an avenue for stress relief among children it isn’t all bad.
A little extra screen time during the holidays or at a time when your child is feeling down isn’t the end of the world. Parents simply need to put it into perspective and balance screen time with other important elements in their child’s development such as physical activities, games and playdates by setting digital boundaries.
Ultimately, as parents, we need to understand that kids these days are digital natives. Limiting their screen time isn’t necessarily the best approach. Focus on the positive aspects of technology and manage your children’s use of digital devices. Remember there is a time and place for everything. The world without technology would be a far less interesting place for us all.
See How Technology Can Be Used Positively! Our Online Preschool reinforces your children’s academic skills to prepare them for school.
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