Your little one’s tiny digits and tech within the home
Despite there being a consistent divulge of negative media attention upon tech within the home and our little one’s use (or rather over use) of it there is a lot to be said for technology and the ways in which it can play a positive role within the home. From helping children learn to providing a chance to bond, tech really is an often misunderstood medium that is really only detrimental when misused.
So here we take a look at the ways in which you can harness tech for the better, all whilst staying safe in the process and having fun along the way.
Taking charge of tech within the home
Does controlling your children’s use of tech sound like an insurmountable challenge? Think again. Here is a quick, easy to follow two-step approach for healthy ICT use within the home.
1. Limit your children’s tech use… and stick to it
First and foremost you must create some reasonable limitations on tech use time. And whether this is 20 minutes or an hour a day, set it and stick to it. No ifs, no buts – consistency is key.
2. Have a fool proof process for ensuring tech times are stuck to
Back in the day the family home had just one computer (if they were lucky), probably placed within the lounge or other communal area. Nowadays things are a whole lot more complex, with everything from tablets to smartphones and finishing upon games consoles and portable gaming. So, in today’s day and age, just how can you control yours kids’ use of tech?
Well, for the child who has as Smartphone or tablet there is a world of apps that can be installed to control browsing times; for the home computer there is the ability to set broadband connection times and for the games console? Well that comes down to good old fashioned innovative parenting. You can lock the games away and release them at set times, or place the console in a lockable unit and provide the key upon request at the set times.
Essential tips for online safety
1. Explain what is acceptable, and why online safety important
Helping your child or children to understand what is acceptable and why is vital for a happy, tech charged home. Explain what types of websites and apps they can use, and which they can’t.
2. Set up parental controls upon your computer, tablet and smartphone
The average computer, smartphone or tablet comes with plenty of options for parental control – from setting browsing times to restricting which kinds of websites and apps are off limits. Check out your tech manuals for further guidance.
3. Always remind your child or children about unacceptable behaviour from others
Unfortunately there is a dark side to online communications and not only must you consider the all-too real threat from predators masquerading as children, you must also consider the possibility of children bullying or harassing your child online. So always remind your child that you, their teachers or a parent whom they trust should be told if they are bullied, harassed or made to feel uncomfortable at all and in any way.
On a lighter note – Having fun, bonding and learning together
Finally we get to the good stuff – the ways in which connecting to tech can help a family connect with each other.
1. Get gaming
Gaming can become a competitive family sport – simply set up a tournament, find the right app and record the results upon a chart. Alternatively there are a world of apps that allow for competitive, real-time gaming (such as the ones listed here on this Apps for family gaming blog article).
2. A question a day keeps the boredom away
The internet is just stuffed full of wonderful and weird things, so educate your children in practically unheard of deep sea creatures, fascinating space facts and no doubt a fair share of answers to why, what and how questions.
3. Learn a new skill with video tutorials
YouTube is the information super highway when it comes to everything from baking cakes to braiding hair and onto impressive at home science experiments. So get searching and learn a new skill each and every week.
4. Harness tech to make homework interactive
Whether your child is learning the otherwise super dull topic of algebra or are only just onto learning their A, B, Cs, the internet is the innovative, engaging and exciting answer to capturing your child’s attention.
Image Credits: Some Day I’ll Learn