I believe that we’re all influenced by whatever it is that we are exposed to.
Back in the day, I enjoyed assembling my toy cars and robots that came with instructions which simply involved the demand to analyze parts and how to put everything together. A lot of fun but challenging work was employed but it did help me find my niche in engineering. I also remember despite how low tech it was in the 90s, I learned how to use an Email and Yahoo Chat by myself. Sure, there were computer subjects in school but they’ve only taught us theories and basic programming language.
How did I learn to use a messenger? Common sense perhaps.
Year 2016. The children’s level of intuition these days when it comes to technology is so high that I was left in awe. Who needs a manual when they instantly knew how to navigate an application? I know it sounds unbelievable but it is legit. My 6 year-old kid playing with an ipad, independently navigating the device like a pro makes my jaw drop.
One site explicitly stated that kids nowadays are mini Steven Spielbergs because of their knowledge of technology. On the other side, Ofcom found out that “6-year-olds of today have the same understanding of technology as 45-year-olds”. This is why parents are highly encouraged to keep up with the ever changing trends in the digital highway.
It’s good if our children is tech savvy as it prepares them to become amazing in the future. However, as parents, it is our responsibility to know what’s going on, hop in the bandwagon and be in the same page with them. Some of you may even say “nah, let kids be kids”, but what will happen if they are savvier than us? By the way, I often hear my kid mention stuff like “hyperlink”, “cookie”, “pop-up” which is no longer normal to me.
I could probably list down hundreds of pros when your kid is tech savvy but there are a few things that every parent must be aware of;
1. Kids have sharper brains. If there is one thing that we constantly forget and they don’t: PASSWORDS. I have read somewhere in California that a kid used her mom’s credit card to shop online and on another occasion, the child bought virtual currencies for online games. Little did the parent know until her debt ballooned. My advise is to change your passwords regularly and keep it unpredictable.
2. The digital world is getting more and more influential. Know the apps they are using and the videos that they are watching. It could be a viral video and everyone is watching it but what if it’s something that could affect them in a negative way? Talking to your child is not enough here. Monitor their online activities and set parental control.
3. Is your kid good enough with technology? While you are struggling to set up a Facebook Page for your business and upload photos online, exploit the ability of your child and learn from it. If you find things difficult online, ask them to guide you. It is also nice to create a positive digital circle in your household but not forgetting that you are still in control.
4. Speaking of savviness, your kids may always find a way to bypass your control. This is where parenting takes over and please have it your way.
It’s nice that we recognize the benefits of technology and our children being really good at it, but it doesn’t really mean that they always have the right discernment to use it wisely and safely. That said, parental guidance is so important.
The life lessons that we give could never be replaced by any technological advancements.