Kids and tech


Children seem more engaged with technology and gadgets and the presence of doodads appear inevitable. (Contributed Photo)

Have you ever had that experience of having your 5-year-old teach you how to download an app on your smartphone?

Or instead of a bicycle, your 10-year-old actually asked you for an iPad?

Or when flummoxed as to where the family can eat, you find your 13-year-old Googling for suggestions?

That’s the 21st Century reality these days.

Children seem more engaged with technology and gadgets and the presence of doodads appear inevitable. They use it both for recreation and for school.

There are many advantages and disadvantages but, whatever the case may be, try not to focus on the negatives. No matter how modern and advanced the world is today, that doesn’t mean you can’t be on top of it.

Managing the use of media and technology is one of the challenges rearing up a child in the 21st Century. Here are some tips for you to get along with tech.

Make TV time a learning time, especially for young children. It is important to guide our children with what they watch on TV so that if ever they have questions and are curious about something, you will be able to educate, translate, interpret and get them to understand. Watching TV together also gives a parent and child a shared experience.

Ask family members, colleagues at work, friends who have children and ask for recommendations on what healthy and educational programs to watch. Screen these programs first, seek out the reviews, and see how if it is helpful in the development of your child.

Integrating values in your child before being exposed to media is an important thing and it shouldn’t stop, especially when they are exposed to the daily barrage of mass media. Having values and morals will enable them to have an internal compass that will guide them even in your absence.

TV and gadgets are convenient baby sitters but setting a certain number of hours for TV and gadget use is very important so that the child will learn parameters. Having rules such a “no phones during mealtime” and “no TV during school nights” are examples. Encouraging your children to get active outside the house like engaging in an activity or sport is ideal.

Organize activities that will lessen the attraction of being in front of the TV or gadget. Organize a barbecue party at the beach, create street games with other children, have a picnic at the park, or organize a book club with other kids. This way, they will be able to appreciate the time spent away from gadgets. (Bea Cabrera)

Bea Cabrera | Correspondent
Bea Cabrera, who holds a law degree, also has a bachelor's degree in mass communications. She has been exposed to multiple aspects of mass media, doing sales, marketing, copywriting, and photography.

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