Your child is clamoring to get her hands on your iPad or cell phone so she can play games. Whether you want to escape or embrace our high-tech world, you can help your little one find the right balance. There are many great things about the Internet and electronic devices, but there are also reasons to hold back.
- Educational Opportunities.
If your children are curious about anything, there is a wealth of info online. There can watch things happening at NASA, see animals in their natural habitats with webcams, learn foreign languages, etc. Your kids can practice writing skills, reading or math online and can even attend an online private school or other programs. Many games and other online activities encourage problem-solving skills as well.
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Besides connecting with particular interests, technology can allow your kids to connect with family and friends who live far away. Skype and some other similar programs are great to build and maintain important relationships as they allow face-to-face visits with anyone from anywhere in the world.
Devices like tablets and e-readers have made books easy to bring anywhere. And anything you want to read is easily accessible online.
- Cyber Danger.
While rare, there is still danger to kids from cyber predators. Your little ones are not that serious about technology and personal information, and there are people that may already know what your child is doing and where your child is at the moment.
- Graphic Violence.
Watching or playing games with graphic violence is not healthy for a child’s developing mind and psyche, and kids can easily become immune to the horror of violence. They can even try to imitate the violence they see, show aggressive behavior, and cause many serious problems.
- Too Much Screen Time.
Kids who spend more than 2 hours a day in from of a computer or TV are more likely to have poor academic performance, behavioral problems, irregular sleep, and be obese. Also, the more they are watching movies or playing games, they have less time for creative play or exploring the world around them.
Allowing kids to spend many hours a day in front of a laptop jeopardizes hours they could be spending interacting with you and their friends and learning to build healthy relationships.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
While it is too early for you as a parent to determine any related danger, there are some steps you can take to reduce your kid’s direct contact to harmful light that may be hurting their eyes:
- Provide engaging and fun alternatives to technology: plan a picnic, play hide-and-go-seek or some other interesting games that will keep them entertained.
- Swap e-books on the tablet for real books.
- Encourage your child to play outside.
- Limit your kid’s daily exposure to TVs, computers, smartphones and tablets.
- No TV in the bedroom.