By Dr. Sridhar G.
Technology has arguably never had such an impact on government, industry, and society as it has in the previous 20 years. Technological advancements such as the internet and the resulting social networks and media have already altered our daily lives, and AI and automation promise to alter it even further. Even social and cultural organisations have been altered by digital technology.
Because digital media has such a big impact on children’s physical and mental development, parenting in the digital era must obviously take on new aspects. Parents cannot afford to remain passive spectators as the digital world unfolds. They must become an active and alert participant in order for their children to thrive in the new era while being protected from the potential dangers of it.
Here are some tips for parents to optimize the digital engagement of their children:
Teaching children the value of Real-Life Interaction
Humans are social beings, and studies suggest that those who are more socially active, live healthier and longer lives. Youngsters must learn that no amount of digital technology can substitute for face-to-face social engagement.
Limiting screen time
It is important to set limits on when kids use gadgets or any other devices. To begin with, the use of digital devices must be restricted at the following times:1 hour before going to bed, on weeknights, before they finish their schoolwork, when relatives and friends come to visit, whenever you’re having a meal. Setting these limits will help in reducing the harmful consequences of excessive usage of devices.
Considering age factor before introducing technology
Usage of digital gadgets can have both beneficial and negative impacts on the youngsters. Therefore, we should be mindful at what age we introduce our kids to digital devices. Children under the age of 24 months should not be exposed to smart gadgets as frequently as a more mature youngster. It is recommended to wait until your child is in school before allowing him or her to use digital tools. Because many children will be obliged to use technology during their schooling, it’s a good idea to start introducing it to your child before they attend full-time school.
Make time to interact with your child utilising digital devices such as computers, telephones or tablets
There are various applications available for both parents and children to use together that may provide a fantastic bonding experience. You could also try recommending them to download games that you both enjoy.
Encouraging your child to be self-sufficient will pay significant returns as they grow older. You may accomplish this in a variety of ways, including encouraging your child to securely explore the digital world. This can begin by allowing your child to browse the web unsupervised while also teaching them on the hazards of online use.
Have an open conversation
It’s important that you create an environment that encourages your youngster to open up about anything. If your child is having a negative experience while using their digital device, they need to know that they may talk to you about it. This is why you must tell your child that he or she has the right to bring up any topic with which they are uncomfortable.
Have frequent chats with your child
Make it a point to positively connect with your child on a daily basis. This will help them develop a positive attitude and create a much better understanding between the two of you. The interaction can be done using a digital gadget or without it.
Become the pupil
As a parent, you would want to teach your child all you know so that they may grow up to be successful adults. However, it is sometimes necessary to set aside time to allow your children to teach you something new every day. Children are notoriously enthralled by a wide range of subjects. Find something they’re enthusiastic about and invest some time on it. Encouraging them to teach you what they know will help them gain confidence over time, particularly if they are in full-time education.
While technology can be beneficial to your child’s development, especially in terms of access to educational materials, it also has the potential to be dangerous. Before allowing your child to use technology freely, it is vital to educate yourself. It’s also vital to have open communication with and teach your child about technology, including the positive and negative aspects. Regardless of the circumstances, being a parent can be challenging. Parenting in the digital age presents a new set of issues, requiring you to monitor your child’s online activities while simultaneously maximising their participation with recent innovations in the digital sphere – the requirement of the twenty-first century industry.(IANSlife)
(Dr. Sridhar G., Founder, Deeksha)