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Middle Childhood » Communication

Rules for the Use of Technology in the lives of Young Children and Their Parents

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Who among parents and teachers will admit they know way less than their kids know about technology?   How important is it to have access to their kid’s computers  (some kids have Iphones as well as more than one laptop or access to a family computer).   Do you want to be a person who gives in or gives up?? 

OR do you want to be a caring and vigilant parent who has control of his or her own household?

  Teachers and parents are afraid of their own children! 

How recently have you as a parent shown your children that you allow them to use the computer and cell phones? Be more aware of this defect of character!  After all, who wants to admit they need help in setting rules and being in charge?  

Try to be strong…try to be smart and, in my opinion, be very firm about asking children daily who are they talking to and what are they doing online. This means a routine twice a day that consists of monitoring the content of all interactions every single day.

This includes whom they talk to and for how long.  This means a sheet of paper sits by the child alongside a tweet, a blog, and comments about friends and more!  That’s why home monitoring and teaching family social and educational skills are necessary for kids to have rules    in becoming computer savvy? …And classrooms are filled with technology.  If technology is used in the right way as a game-changer and a communication system…. Great! 

Otherwise, do you know how to say “no”?    

Lay down the law, the minimum age for computer use in the classroom is the teacher’s call and at home your call!  You need to correlate with home chores and games and family activities, how helpful and organized the child in question may be! Most children by age five have interacted with some sort of technology. 

By 7 or 8 years old your child may be using the computer at home as well as using school computers and other audio/visual aids.  Do you ask and watch what they play?  NO way do you allow young or emotionally immature tweens to have cellphones or post messages or use computers unsupervised!  They have to be taught that posting extremely private information about them at a young age can come back to haunt them several years later.

Vulnerable young children do not understand or have the capacity to realize the embarrassment and damage created by their posts that can last forever. Research says that teen’s text and average of 3,500 texts a month- don’t let them even think about it until age 12!    

Technology is sapping the creativity out of our children.  When a child uses technological devices, he is not using his own sensory information. Technology is not creative in the sense that the child plays by the rules of the device, not by his own thoughts or actions.

As a parent ask yourselves a few questions:

Are parents using technology to distract their kids when they don’t want to deal with a situation? 

Are your kids missing the opportunity to discuss with you, to feel anger or sadness, to be listened too?

Does using Twitter and knowing embarrassing personal things about someone instantly make children grow up with little empathy for others? Learning to read facial expressions is how children learn to empathize.

Are the use of screens and electronic devices contributing to the diabetes epidemic in children?

Ask Dr. Susan