We techies often wonder how parents can introduce their young children to technology without wiping away their innocence. Can a parent safely introduce tech to a young child is a million dollar question ringing in my mind as I write this article.
When And How Can A Parent Introduce Their Young One To Tech?
Research says 27% of screen time for children between 5 and 8 is spent with digital media. Whilst there is no specific age to introduce kids to tech some parents say from 4 years going up a child must have access to a digital gadget/Electronic device. What is a Digital/electronic device you may ask
Electronic gadgets are specialized electronic devices that require a form of electric power to operate. Examples of these gadgets are video games, television, computers, PSP games, phone apps, mobile phones, and tablets.
These young minds can be introduced to apps and computer games that encourage drawing, solving small puzzles and memory games. Bearing in mind that their memories are so short so you may want to fill their memory with good quality information that will result in your child being a well-rounded individual. Applications and games like Memory games for Kids (available on IOS Only) programs like Your Baby Can Learn usually help with reading and learning basics that any child should master depending with their age.
From 6 to 8 more gaming can be introduced that helps develop a child’s mind. At this age, the parent can assess the child’s problematic areas in school be it grammar, math, reading etc and use tech to improve those areas. Various apps like Mable Math Junior (available on IoS) and Peter Pig’s money Coin Counter among a million others can help a child with math. A quick google search will get you other apps for other areas.
Don’t forget a well-rounded child must be subjected to both school and leisure. So Xbox and Playstations are as imperative as all the other programs we have mentioned and they are available in stock right now.
Must A Child Have Access Or Unlimited Access To The Internet?
It is a known fact that the internet has become part of our basic needs. So must a child have access to the internet. must the 6 to 10-year-olds have access to the internet? In my opinion, NO, reason being they may be subjected to content not fit for their young minds. If a child has a task that needs the internet, I personally think its the adult’s task to search for it and give it to the child in a report format.
Unsafe and very offensive adverts pop up here and there, some devs link innocent pages to inappropriate or lottery pages that you would never want small children to see and for that reason, I think its unsafe for a kid to have unlimited access to the internet. However, restricting internet time may not be practical in some instances. Bark and Web Catcher are apps and programs that can be used to filter what a child can see must you decide they must have access to the internet. Companies like ZOL also provide safe browsing packages and families can subscribe to that and be safe.
Must A Child Be On Social Media?
Simple answer NO, they are kids they can socialize with peers their age and next door neighbors and others at school. Besides how many of a kid’s friends are even on any social media platform to interact with your kid. However, the decision to let the child be on social media is sorely the parents’. Some social media platforms chief among them Twitter is no place for a kid or an early teenager or even a 17-year-old to be because it is a place where one can easily come across very offensive language and inappropriate pictures & videos.
We have seen social media pages for kids of famous people and often question the necessity of such. Thing is internet trolls don’t really care when it comes to trolling and they may be subjected to shaming, bullying and down talking others. We may think kids are resilient to such, big question is, are kids resilient to bullying, down talks and shaming? They may even learn these bad traits on social media and apply it in real life to their peers and obviously, this is not a good thing.
What Type of Content Should You Let Your Child Watch on TV?
It’s easy for parents to let a kid watch TV and get them off their back, usually letting them watch harmless cartoons. The issue of TV is neither here nor there as people loosely address it. The whole issue rests solely on the parents’ beliefs and values. For example, these days cartoons have gay couples case in point some Nickelodeon Cartoon had a married gay couple. While there is nothing seemingly wrong with that, their young minds are already seeing that being gay is actually an option at a tender age. This in communities that are gay tolerant is amazing news, but in communities that are not its a taboo. So would you let your kid spend hours after school watching harmless cartoons that go against your beliefs?
In conclusion, a child’s mind is very small, it’s imperative that it’s filled with important stuff that will set them up for life. Whenever possible, do limit their usage of electronic devices, do restrict their screen time and do monitor their internet usage like a hawk until they are older and their memories can take more information.