Erin. 32. Ilinois — As a mother of a toddler, I felt compelled to be digitally attached not just to keep myself updated on the ever evolving trend of technology but for me to be able to guide my child well. Surprisingly, my kid has been closely affiliated to the web even if I’ve never really taught him anything about it. I mean, he’s 4!
I know that my kid’s exposure to technology could give him the basic foundation that will help in fostering knowledge development, however, I am a parent & I will always be the first line of defense for my kid so setting limitations and control is important. Although technology had become an integral part of our digital lives, it could negatively impact anyone who misuses it, especially children who are still careless.
Have you ever asked yourself how much time does you kid spend online? A few years ago, I have read that the Department of Health in the USA recommends that children under the age of 2 should not be in front of a screen at all while children over that age, internet usage should not be more than 2 hrs a day.
I don’t intend to make things inflammatory but ResearchNow also has conducted a survey and concluded that 53% of kids in their study are visiting unknown sites while other are spending time talking to strangers, buying items and downloading files. As AVC.com remarked “Technology is not a babysitter!”
If you are anxious about this now knowing that your kid is spending more time facing the internet, I listed some tips below which could help you manage the situation;
1. The use of internet is fine but overindulgence is not a good thing. Encourage your kid to also have some playtime outside and have interaction with other children, away from any digital device.
2. It’s okay if you want to get digital together, but, parental participation is a must. Be mindful how your kid is spending leisure time.
3. Ensure to check all apps installed in your kid’s device. Common Sense Media reviews apps for kids according to its appropriateness. Dedicate some time to read.
4. I have read this many times over and it’s becoming a cliché but it’s helpful: Encourage internet-free time at home for your kids.
5. Give full attention to your kids. Be aware that too much screen time increases the chance of becoming obese and trouble sleeping. In worse case scenarios, a kid may develop depression, anxiety, ADD and ADHD because of this dependency.
6. Do not encourage the use of any digital device before bed time.
7. Know that games in a virtual environment elicits false sense of competence. Kids should base their lives in reality.
8. Technology is like a double-edged sword to anyone who doesn’t know much about it. Educate your kids from every mistake they commit.
There is certainly no “right” amount of internet time. Parents are always responsible for giving balance in their kids’ activities, both online and offline. I know exactly what “fun” is like and I want my kid to create memorable experiences too which doesn’t always involved the internet.