By Jane Marsh
Technology is everywhere these days and has evolved rapidly in recent decades. Phones used to be installed in every home, and now people can carry them around in their pockets. Nearly 100% of households with children under the age of eight have their own smartphone – but a small percentage don’t have those devices under their command.
If you want to introduce technology slowly to your children, you must know that most children already have this technology. Still, that fact doesn’t mean that you have to introduce your kids to tech all at once. You can teach them how to be safe online and with devices while giving them some screen time.
1. Gradually Introduce Them
You don’t have to start your kids out with an iPad or other tablet to keep them occupied. Start introducing them slowly to smart devices. You might introduce devices to them through television, then branch out to videos they can find on tablets. When they’re ready for a phone, consider introducing your kids to flip phones and slowly moving toward smartphones once you deem them old enough and responsible enough to handle their capabilities.
When your kids are young, you may want to start them off with devices that are actually toys. Programmable toys can give them a taste of coding while having minimal screen time or none at all. Plus, it can give them a base knowledge of coding, which might be a hobby they want to pursue as they age.
Technology is everywhere these days and has evolved rapidly in recent decades.
2. Set Limits
You can go into your kids’ smart devices and set limits on them. You may want to limit certain apps more than others if you think that they could be too addictive for your child. During and after the COVID-19 pandemic, adolescents spent nearly seven hours a day in front of screens.
If you want to avoid your children getting that much time in front of devices, make sure to set time limits on how much they can use their devices. That way, they’ll still enjoy playing on them, but they’ll also have to learn how to manage their time wisely.
3. Treat It Like a Privilege
Your kids should know that technology is never a right. When they’re young, they don’t necessarily need devices to communicate with anyone – especially if they’re not away from home for long periods or have a job that requires communication with their superiors. Reward them with device time when you know they deserve it and can handle it.
As they get older, you may choose to give them more versatile devices and time to talk with their peers online or through messages. You should always give your kids the privacy they need, but building a strong foundation of trust will help them know they can come to you with any issues they have online. By slowly introducing your kids to technology, you can help them build a healthy relationship with it.
You should always give your kids the privacy they need, but building a strong foundation of trust will help them know they can come to you with any issues they have online.
4. Use Screens Together
One way to create a positive association with screens is to use them with them. You might watch a movie on TV or on a tablet. You could play a co-op video game together. Take an interest in your children’s interests, and they’ll look at it as bonding time and a fond memory in the future.
Spending time with your kids in front of screens can also help you gauge how much they rely on screens. Make sure to have fun times with them in circumstances that don’t rely on screens. They may also start to associate screens with positive, social times rather than something they can use to isolate themselves from the world.