Our children live in a world of technology and as a parent, we can only control our children but in no way can we stop them using technology, as it has become a part of their (our) everyday lives and will be increasing in the future as well. Right use of technology helps children learn how to communicate effectively and understand their world outside better.
As a tech savvy mom, I always try to encourage my children to use technology but under my observation. It is quite surprising how children adapt themselves to technologies and in fact learn fast enough to teach their mom (that’s me) on how to use certain features in my kindle and in my android devices. It is how and to what extent technology fulfills our children’s needs. Most often using technology reaps a lot of benefits, but over usage becomes a pain. With loads of apps and games, many of which free for download even children under the age of five become addicted enough to tell you the ins and outs of using apps in IOS and other Android devices.
For my daughter in her KS1, the Internet serves as an excellent source of acquiring information. And with the growth of social networking, no doubt my children will be using them in their teens and it becomes necessary as a parent to teach them to identify like minded friends and platforms which helps them to learn, share and put forth their opinions and thoughts. The only reason I do this is to keep them connected, acquire right knowledge and to widen their horizons. But to achieve all these positive sides of the Internet, there are certain important thumb rules that should be followed. Here are some which I know with my little ones and maybe I would add more as their age increases.
Internet Rule One: Children should understand the Red Riding Hood moral that talking to strangers would lead to danger and in no way good for themselves and for their family. Always make friends or talk to only those who you know or is a part of your family.
Internet Rule Two: Allocate a time and day for the children to use the Internet or say your iPad, Tablet or Mobile which has become very common among kids for playing games in most households today. Not giving them to your child or hiding your tab in a secret location only increases the curiosity of your little one and maybe someday he/she might take it when you don’t notice them. So it is always better to allocate a time or reason like “Mama will give you to play for half an hour if you complete your homework or so and so”.
Internet Rule Three: Whether you are using PC or any other mobile devices, always install Parental control or Basic sandbox lock. Make sure you block third party websites and websites that are not fit for the children. Most mobiles will come with a free parental lock, if not ask about it to your service provider. For iPads, enable restrictions by Settings > General >Tap Enable Restrictions and enter a passcode. For Android, you can install many Parental control apps like Toddler lock, Famigo Kids lock or App lock depending on how you want your device to be controlled.
Coming to the end of this post, do you have any more ideas or suggestion to share? Is the Internet and technology good or bad for kids – what’s your take on it?
Uma Maheswari Anandane is a mother of two kids, a qualified Engineer and a passionate blogger. She blogs about parenting and lifestyle at MomScribe and Poetry at Rhythmus. Most of her works have been published at Enchanting Verses Literary Review, Surf Excel Website, OXFORD Book Store’s Hearttalk, The Viewspaper Youth Mag, Powercuts India, etc. She had author two eBooks on poetry, one at amazon and the other making itself to big portals like iTunes, Sony and Barnes &Nobles. She is currently working on her blog and writing articles for Small Scale Magazines.