We want our kids to be savvy about technology because not only will it help them thrive in pretty much any job they work toward; but when we get older, someone will have to help us figure out the newest tech toys. But with that, there are many other pros and cons that need to be weighed by parents when it comes to kids and technology.
At what age should I get my child a cell phone and/or tablet?
Some parents feel their child should be allowed to get a cell phone when they are old enough to get a job and pay for it themselves. Others just follow their gut. From locating your child after school to checking in at sleepovers, you want to be able to get in touch with your child if they need you.
If your child attends a traditional school, you probably already know that when one kid gets something new and trendy, soon the whole student body will want one too. Don’t feel that you have to start these trends, but you may want your kids to stay connected at the same pace as their peers, academically and socially
Even if it’s the right time for your child to have a cell phone, you should be conscious of whether they are getting enough physical activity. Encourage your kids to put down the phone and join a sports team, go hang out with neighborhood kids or take them on an afternoon bike ride after school.
How do I keep my kids safe online?
There are downloadable programs that can protect your child’s security online whether they’re on smartphones, a tablet or a computer. Keeping in mind your child’s age and maturity, trust also has to be considered.
As parents, it’s hard to let go sometimes and let your kids make certain mistakes for the sake of learning from them. This may not always be the best approach, though. There are so many inappropriate websites, cyber-creeps and easy ways to give away valuable personal information that verbally communicating with your kids may be the best method.
Talking to your kids can go a long way, be honest without scaring them away from technology. Lay out the rules for your kids; guide them on their journey through the internet. Remember your parents’ voices in the back of your head telling you not to do something? That’s because your parents laid out helpful guidelines that stuck with you; it worked!
How do smart phones affect my children in school?
In a learning environment, having information at your fingertips can be extremely helpful. Smart phones and tablets can help your children with research projects, preparing for tests, and finishing homework so that they can play video games or go ride bikes after school. There’s no question that technology does help our kids.
However, if your kids are texting and surfing the internet during class, they’re obviously missing out on important information and quite possibly annoying their teachers.
Consider taking away their cell phone if grades start to slip. Remember, you’re the one paying the bill and you can discontinue services at any time.
How do you feel about kids and technology?