Technology can be extremely useful and convenient, and as time goes on, it seems like it is getting more and more innovative. We’ve gotten inventions like electric cars, instant customer services such as the kind at Votacall, smartwatches, and much more. Our kids are no strangers to these technological advancements, but the line between restricting their access and allowing full control can be blurry in these regards.
Here are some popular pieces of technology with today’s children and teens and how you might want to go about handling them.
Because most kids these days can’t go a minute without being by their phones, it’s natural that parents would be concerned about their screen time. Depending on their age and level of maturity, you may even want to wait until getting them a phone in the first place. This will depend on your personal opinion, but most experts agree that waiting to get a smartphone for your child until they reach the ages of eleven and thirteen is appropriate.
Then you have to remain aware of just how often they use it and what they’re using it for. You may want to set restrictions such as no phones at the table, past a certain evening hour, or using parental restrictions on certain apps for younger kids. As long as you’re paying the phone bill, it’s all up to you, but conveying a certain amount of trust in them while also being aware that they are still a child will go a long way.
Kids love video games. It’s a way for them to unwind after a long day at school, play online with their friends, and engage in an interactive hobby like no other. However, gaming, just like anything else, can turn into an addiction like being on your phone, eating junk food, or watching TV. It is completely fine to let them play games with their friends or alone, but limiting the amount they play within a single day or week—within reason—might be required if you find them shut up in their room for hours at a time each day.
For younger kids, you also need to be aware of the type of game their playing. Some games may be inappropriate for their age group, as is indicated on the front cover’s rating. Other games may be filled with spammy microtransactions that take advantage of players and get them to pay ludicrous amounts of money for digital goods. If they want a new game, take the time to do a quick search and see if it’s something you’re comfortable with them playing.
Even if your child doesn’t have a phone yet or isn’t really into video games, they’ll likely be watching television at some point. There’s nothing wrong with letting your child watch cartoons and movies, but if that’s all they’re doing, you might have a problem. It can be easy for kids to want to wake up on Saturdays and just watch TV all day, or for teenagers after school to retreat to their rooms each night and binge Netflix or Hulu for hours on end.
Making sure they are actually engaging in something other than television is the main concern, not so much that they are actually watching TV. As long as they are spending some time outside, hanging out with their friends and the family, doing their homework, and taking on additional hobbies, letting them watch the occasional show isn’t a big deal.
At the end of the day, how you raise your kids in regards to technology is completely up to you, and reaching a reasonable, mutual understanding with your child is important. You may want to play it a little stricter, a little looser, or somewhere in the middle, but as long as your kids are growing up into good people and you are happy with it, that’s all that matters.