The way it used to be, tech didn’t have pride of place in any household, in fact, it didn’t exist at all! If you were looking for entertainment, you would play with your pets, or head out and play with your friends.
Now, kids don’t go outside to play much but prefer to stay indoors on their laptops and tablets. And while the debate on the negative impacts of tech on our children has been ongoing for many, many years, tech does have pride of place in the house now.
But rather than fighting against it, and banning electronics and toys from the household, it’s better to look at the positive aspects of technology, and what it can actually do for your children. And, surprisingly, the essential items of tech that your children need are the ones most of us have already. So, here are some tech items that you should let your kids actually use.
Before you start to think about how much damage a cell phone is doing for your kids, hang on just a second. A cell phone is most definitely a device that divides opinion, especially when it comes to children, but look at it from the perspective of a concerned parent.
Now, our kids are out and about, and if you compare this to 15 or 20 years ago, most places would be generally safe for kids, which is hardly the case in the present day. Instead of letting your children use their cell phone for constant social media updates, have them use a basic model cell phone, with your number pre-programmed, they can always reach you in case of emergency.
The benefits of getting an old phone for them, as opposed to a smartphone, means that if your kids end up in trouble, or they are in some sort of emergency, an old cell phone model isn’t worth much to thieves or bullies, and they can quickly reach you. If you’re looking for a hands-off method in making sure that your kids are safe, it’s always best to give them a cell phone as a precautionary method.
I still remember my parents and grandparents always making sure that I had at least $1.00 in change when I went out somewhere in the event I needed to call them on a payphone. In 1999, you could still drop a quarter and make a call from one of 2 million payphones in the United States. 19 years later, only 5% of those 2 million phones remain with 20,000 of those remaining phones located in New York according to the FCC.
In 2018, there is a computer in every household in one form or another. Either a smartphone, a laptop, or the house computer. Now, as children are very savvy about how computers work, there will be a time when they will want to use them for entertainment, not just homework and research. Letting your kids go on the computer, especially when they are under the age of 10, can result in a lot of anxious parents. Why?
There are many websites out there with questionable content, but also now, websites like YouTube, even though the kid-friendly clips are in abundance, it doesn’t take long to go to a video that may look kid-friendly on the face of it, but has extremely violent content, even in animated form!
The solution is to make sure you are supervising those children, but it’s also about making sure that the forms of entertainment for your children aren’t just YouTube videos. There are many games that are good for children’s cognitive ability. In addition, there are numerous apps that allow you to set limits on what websites they can view, the time they are allowed on the device, prevent them from accessing social media or texting apps, etc. to help parents keep their children safe, even if they cannot watch them constantly while they are online.
Video Games Console
Don’t knock the video games, mom and dad. There are many cognitive benefits to children playing video games. I wanted my children outside in the fresh air and sunshine just as much when they were growing up, but there are times when video games are fine for your kids – in moderation, as with everything.
For specific areas of your children’s brain, and relating to the development of their coordination, memory, and even as a way to learn, computer games are, actually, very good. Many of these benefits are listed in this article.
Yes, there are certain games that you need to keep an eye on, especially those with the adult themes. But games like SimCity, Zoo Tycoon, and Civilization are great for general problem-solving skills. And, video consoles aren’t just about sitting down and getting repetitive strain injury, there are many active games that are great for kids fitness.
The Nintendo Wii, and games like Dance Dance Revolution, are designed to improve general fitness. Go a little further, and the Nintendo switch can help to improve your children’s social skills. They can take the Nintendo Switch over to a friend’s house, and play with other children. And if your children are socializing with other kids, and actually getting out, and getting some exercise, does the fact that they’re doing it via video games matter in the grand scheme of things?
You take this a little bit further, and they are using tech as a reason to get out and exercise, and using tech to get around. Something that I personally love is the hoverboard. My son had grown tired of his skateboard and was spending more time indoors being bored. Think back to 2015, and the hoverboard craze. Every child in our apartment complex had a hoverboard on the top of their wish list that year. Christmas morning looked like a hoverboard salesman convention!
If you want to find out more about hoverboards, you can visit this site and see how they make a great alternative for a bicycle in this technological age we live in. Hoverboards are a half-decent compromise if your children have not used bikes to get around because, for example, the neighborhood you are in isn’t safe for a bicycle.
Let’s face it – when it comes to getting our kids to exercise, tech is a shiny approach to hypnotize them into getting their exercise and not even realize they are doing so. No kid in their right mind is going to like the idea of running in place or doing push-ups – but if you put it into a competitive context (hoverboard races) or through a video game, you’ll have much better success to get them moving rather than them doing nothing.
For all the bad press technology gets, there are some overriding positives. If you’ve spent hours refusing to get your kids a video game console or a computer, or even a phone, rethink your position. There are some good things that can result from these devices. The real trick to making sure that your kids don’t use this tech for all the wrong reasons that are always widely publicized, is to ensure that you have strict controls and, very simply, monitor them whenever you can.
So if you have been that parent that’s been fighting technology and a place in your home, consider these options and how they can be used as a force of good – whether making your kids smarter, or actually safer.