managing children's screen time

Parenting in the Digital Age

Raising kids has never been easy regardless of which era but this generation faces some unique problems and challenges. That is technology. While technology plays a huge beneficial role in society, it is important that when raising kids they are taught how to use technology properly. Both parents and children now have ever growing streams of new technology resources at their fingertips offering increased opportunities for engagement, entertainment education and so much more.

The Pro and Cons of Technology with Kids:

Pro #1: Education

Technology has a lot to offer when used properly. It has a wealth of knowledge that is accessible at a click of a button. From free online class like at Khan Academy to YouTube, it offer a way for any child regardless of age to excel in school. When these resources are use properly it can help the child learn what they may have missed in class. It will help them from falling behind in school.

Not only school but it allow the child to learn about anything they may be curious about. It is important to note that a child must be taught how to properly use and gather the information found on the internet. When used properly the internet offer a extraordinary for a child to grow and learn.

Pro #2: Communication

After a certain age thing like the cell phone can assist in a parent in being able to communicate with their child when they are not physically there. It can offer a sense of security and a piece of mind knowing they are able to communicate with their child in a moments notice.

Pro #3: Entertainment

There is no denying the large entertainment value technology brings in the forms of videos to video games. They provide a family bonding experience from streaming show to playing games. Not only that but studies have shown that video games can improve motors skills and eye hand coordination.

Con #1: Undeveloped social skills

Technology is flashy and eye catching so much so that one can become addicted to it. Many time adults struggle to put down their phone so a child would be no different. But unlike an adult, children brains are still developing and growing.

In an age where they are supposed to be interacting with people if they get caught up in technology it could potentially hinder their social skills as they grow. It is important for a parent to carve out a balance between how much technology is used and how much social interaction the child has.

Con #2: Lack of Physical Activity

When more and more time get spent with technology it can become easy to become less active. This is especially important for kids. It is important to set a limit on screen time so kids can have time for other activities and interaction with other kids. Not only will this develop many social skills but it will keep kids active and healthy.

Con #3: Security

While the internet offers information at your fingertips there is tons of information that may not be safe for younger viewers or offers idea that may not be true. It is important for parents to have balance between allowing their kid to use technology and controlling what content they are viewing. Many devices offer parental control features that parents can take advantage of. They can usually be set up in minutes and help keep your child safe on the internet.

Recommendations to Navigate Parenting in the Digital Age:

Technology plays a huge role in our daily lives and there is no way that our children can be kept away from it. Today’s children are digital native. It also comes to light that there is a general belief that a child knows more about the latest in technology than the parent as they get older, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. However, the main pain point comes down to how to protect and regulate the usage of technology so there is good balance for the child.

Tip #1: Parental Digital Literacy

Parents' digital literacy is one way that will allow them to manage their child’s technology activities. This includes being aware about the duration, content and quality of the child’s digital involvement.

Tip #2: Parental control Resources:

Many of modern-day gadgets come with advance tool to control your child time and the content they view. These controls can be accessed via parental control setting on the device itself or with the router.

Tip #3: Family & Friends time:

This one might sound simple but it is important for a child to know that there is a time for technology and a time for family. This differentiation will allow the child to have many different social interactions. This will provide them the opportunity to learn and grow from people around them.

Parenting was never easy and the digital age parenting age can only be more challenging as we just discussed. But the path forward should be conscious participation replacing outright techno phobia or philia, with one of education and balance about technology. Using these helpful tips and being aware of the issue go a long way in parenting in the digital age.

Isaac is one of the co-founders and the current CEO of Joon with years of parenting research and testing under his belt.