mom and kid watching at a laptop

How to Make Kids Use Tech Responsibly at Home and in School

Kids of today are more exposed to technology than most of us during our childhood, due to rapid developments and accessibility of gadgets to people of all ages nowadays. While there are a lot of benefits, it’s also fast becoming a problem for many. For many teachers and parents, traditional activities such as using creative writing worksheets, board games, arts and crafts, and even performance art can provide alternatives.

Effects of Too Much Use of Technology

Obesity

Screen-time does not encourage much physical activity or any mobility beyond hand-eye coordination. Too much of it encourages a sedentary habit and profoundly impacts on a child’s health and developing body. Since less time is spent exercising to burn energy from what they eat, fat tends to accumulate.

Less Interaction in Real Life

Due to the ready availability of customizable activities that occupy kids on their gadgets, it’s easy to become addicted to its usage. They could also be less inclined to engage with their family and friends. The tendency is for communication and interaction to be reduced to the barest minimum.

Exposure to Danger

As technology opens up wider connectivity to the world than we usually do without help, it can get harder to place limits and boundaries to safeguard your children. Harmful, inappropriate content and predatory strangers can manage to sneak in past parental security protocols. Sadly, constant monitoring can be hard for parents and vigilance can lag.

Brain Drain

A steady stream of material from an unchecked use of technology can rob people of the ability to flex their mental muscles. From a developed habit of being spoon-fed information and entertainment from tech overuse, kids may end up being easily bored or distracted, less patient, and more prone to stress and frustration in the real world.

Ways to Balance Things

There are ways to balance children’s involvement with and dependency on technology. Here are tips in keeping your kid’s tech use in control.

Scheduled Tech Time

kids reading

Create a schedule of different activities with appropriate time limits for your child. Ensure that these are fun, engaging, and involves the family. Mix up physical and mental activities. Give them puzzles to solve, creative writing worksheets, tickets to zoos and museums, and go with them on camping, trailing, or a simple picnic activities.

Designated Tech Area 

Limit tech use to a containable and easily monitored space. Having the kids closer to you while they are on their tech time will help minimize the incidence of inappropriate content being absorbed or remain unchecked. Talk to your kids about the games and videos they are being exposed to. Better yet, be with them as they play or watch so you can experience and process it together.

Set Age-Appropriate Material

Evaluate what you make available to the kids, whether it’s the downloadable material or the gadget itself. There are parental locks and automatic shut-downs now built into child-friendly units. Do thorough research before allowing your child access to their requested games, video, or website.

Communicate

Talk to your child about safety and responsible tech usage. Emphasize the importance of appropriate tech use and balancing it with other life experience and skills.

Be sure to stick to your rules and schedules and try not to give in to the temptation of slacking off. Create a habit and a lifestyle your family can truly benefit from. Technology isn’t the enemy, and it is there for us to use to better our lives.