Many parents today have developed the habit of buying the latest gadgets for their kids and for themselves as well. These techie dads and moms feel they need to expose their children to modern technology so they can become tech-savvy in this digital age.
But while some parents are open-minded when it comes to using these advanced electronic devices, some remain hesitant. They fear that introducing tech gadgets to their young ones would lead to seclusion or online social interaction instead of the traditional interaction in the real world. The late Apple company founder Steve Jobs himself was aware of the adverse effects of technology and did not even give his kids an iPad.
Child experts, however, noted that it’s a must for children of today to learn how to use computers and other mobile gadgets. They stressed that kids need them to develop their so-called technological proficiency which will help them in their future professions.
But how should a parent supervise and control the use of these gadgets especially at home?
Supervising Your Child
It’s very important for parents to have control over their kids’ use of electronic gadgets. Setting a limit on their time is crucial particularly if you have observed that your child often stays up late at night. “Experts point out that some kids have this impulse control disorder that make it hard for them to limit their use of the internet or their gadget,” according to attorney Tony Dunne, a San Diego family law lawyer. “As such, you can block certain content from showing on your kid’s devices and disable in-app purchases that alert you on your child’s online buying activities,” he added.
In Australia, leading telecommunications company Telstra has a new offering that allows parents to take charge of their child’s device through their own computer. Through its free online portal called Mobile Protect, moms and dads can set limits on their kids’ technology use and help protect them from cyber bullying. It also requires parents and children to sign a written agreement on the boundaries being set.
Popular educational toymaker LeapFrog, for its part, has created a free and downloadable Guide for Parents on Technology & Kids. It features lots of tips and advice on the safe use of the internet.
Knowing What’s Appropriate
With all the cyber risks present, parents should also take into serious consideration the types of online content appropriate for your child. You should establish rules as what kinds of games your kid should play. For one, games that offer a personalized learning experience and teaches new concepts are best.
Additionally, set aside a time for co-play. This means that you sit down with your child and discuss about the games he or she is playing. You can ask them as well about lessons they learn from playing their favorite games.
Another thing you can do is ask your internet service provider if they offer a protection feature. This feature normally lets users automatically blacklists certain sites and whitelists sites you find acceptable.
Overall, parents need to be firm in the way they supervise their kids. This is apart from using the various helpful technological tools available to them today.