Technology no longer has boundaries

Times are extremely different today than in previous generations. Once upon a time there were built-in limitations: Kids played games in arcades or tethered themselves to home devices. Now, as long as someone in the family has a smartphone, games and other ways of being digitally connected are always an option.

Know when to cut it off

Technology and computers can be a great way to learn (or to keep the kids quiet) but remember you are the parent and you decide when enough is enough. My Grandmother used to say that life is all about balance, we need to help our kids find this balance between screen time and non screen time. All digital devices should be used in a public space at home and not in bedrooms.

Know the difference between preference and addiction

Some days a child might prefer to play a computer game than go for a swim or talk to their friends, it doesn’t mean they are addicted to it. They are perfectly capable of going without the technology, they just prefer it. Addiction is when someone can’t live without technology or anything else, they feel empty or depressed without it. If this is the case then it needs to be addressed.

Focus on technology that connects us with our children

Parents often complain that their children spend too much time playing computer games or watching television, but how often do we as parents use technology to keep kids busy when they need peace and quiet? It is possible to find games and activities that parents and children can do together online. The challenge is finding technology that connects rather than isolates.

Model the Balance

Technology is incredible, I couldn’t do my job without it, but as a parent it is important that I model correct use of technology. That means not having the television on when we are having dinner, no using my phone at a restaurant, putting my devices down and spending time with my kids building, reading and playing sports.

Technology will not go away nor will the desire to use it, as aprents we need to help our children find the balance and explore different ways to connect with others.

This is a summary of this excellent article

http://mashable.com/2011/09/14/parenting-tech-children/

Author: Soren Gordhamer

Geoff Derry,
Technology Integrator

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