Children are surrounded by technology and technological devices and it is our duty to teach them how to use them responsibly and correctly, how to do it?
We cannot deny it, children today are surrounded by technology. It is common to observe in a restaurant how parents desperate for their baby’s crying give him his cell phone to entertain and eat, or how the screens are increasingly installed in the classroom and in our lives. A term has been created to name these children who have been born with the new technologies installed, they are called “Touch generation”.
But Is This An Advance? Are ICT’s Beneficial Or Harmful?
According to a new study, presented at the 2017 Meeting of Pediatric Academic Societies, the more time children under the age of 2 spend in front of the screen, the more likely they are to have delays in speech development. This is just one of the negative consequences that have been described of an early use of the screens, also the cases of myopia in children between 2 and 3 years old in our country are drastically increased and it has been proven that these children are more impulsive than previous generations.
There are also experts who ask if this inappropriate use of new technologies could affect the use of imagination by children, and problems to relate face to face.
Added to these are the dangers of the internet, inadequate access to content (violence, sexuality …), ease of gambling money online, cyberbullying (harassment among peers through networks) or, in more extreme cases, grooming (adults who pose as minors to blackmail children) or sexting (dissemination of sexual images).
Excessive use can also lead to the development of an internet addiction.
But neither should we be alarmist, since it seems that these consequences and these dangers are more related to an inadequate use of new technologies than to the very nature of ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies).
ICT’s as its own name indicates, they serve to keep us connected, between us, that is, they allow us to communicate, they also connect us with current events and knowledge, it allows us access to information in an easy, simple and everything fast.
For our children, they also suppose a possibility of access to audiovisual material, to work in different ways, for example, through collaborative learning, to communicate with friends, which allows them to improve their relationships. Even video games have great potential, they improve psycho motor coordination, spatial orientation that is to say, we are facing a great educational challenge.
How Can You Help Your Children To Have A Responsible Use Of New Technologies?
We give you a series of recommendations to achieve it.
- Avoid the use of tablets until 18 months, to promote optimal brain development.
- Control and limit the use of new technologies, we have to establish both the amount of time of access to new technologies and the time slot.
With controlling and limiting we do not mean to prohibit, since, as we have commented previously, children need ICT’s to be part of the current society and what we want to achieve is that they are able to regulate and control themselves.
- To update ourselves with news related to the technological world, by knowing, for example, the functioning of the social networks in which our child counts, we speak his / her own language and we favor a more fluid communication and a climate of trust.
- It is also recommended that the computer or the tablets be in a shared house, which allows us to have an agreed supervision of what material our child is accessing.
- In cases where we have the feeling that our child is accessing inappropriate content, we can install parental controls on their devices.
- Inform our children of the dangers of networks, not in an alarmist way, but in an informative way, favoring in them a critical attitude towards new technologies. Talking, for example, about online privacy will help you realize the risks of giving personal information through the internet.
- Encourage another type of leisure, such as sports, reading, music … that is able to discover other interests and other ways of entertainment away from the screens, especially if these activities can be done with other children, which it will help to socialize in a healthy way.
8. Act as models for them, we cannot ask them not to use the tablet if you are not able to drop your mobile phone.