Coming to terms with digital natives and tech-savvy toddlers
We often hear the term digital natives. But how many of us know what this really means? The term digital native describes a person that grows up in the digital age, rather than acquiring familiarity with digital systems as an adult.
The term refers to young people, in this case children, as the “natives” of a new culture. Tech-savvy toddlers under the age of 3 who are comfortable using tablets, smartphones and iPads are no longer a novelty, and their remarkable skills with these tools has certainly influenced the way they learn and communicate.
Inevitably, the question arises: are children too dependent on technology today? And do we as parents need to find a balance. There’s plenty of research on both sides of the spectrum, but the common ground seems to be that technology is good for young children. The truth is that often our willingness to try new things —our “adventure window”—fades, but sometimes all we need to do is get to know them better.
At least one child in ten has a toy that connects to the internet or uses Apps that generally a parent downloads to cope with crying fits and tantrums that often seem impossible to control. One cannot deny that technology is present in our lives and that of our children every day.
Today we are suggesting a number of rules that you may want to have in place as parents of digital natives.
1) Don’t allow your children to use a smartphone, tablet or pc during meals. It is very important to have rules in place on the use of devices: teach your children how to use these device correctly right from when they are small, above by setting a good example. There should be no mobile phones or tablets at the dinner table when you have family right around you that you need to spend time with.
2) Children should not be allowed to use these devices without supervision. It is important to for parents to share the learning process of the digital experience. This will not only allow you to supervise your children, but also to share the experience with them.
3) Don’t use technology merely to entertain your children, use it for learning too. The use of educational applications help children turn a moment of fun into a learning experience.
4) Set screen-time limits. Especially in the case of younger children, overexposure and the amount of time spent viewing screens before bedtime is detrimental to sleep patterns. Don’t allow your children to use a smartphone, tablet or pc before going to bed, rather read them a fairy tale!
Dear parents, don’t be afraid of the new culture. With your supervision, the use of technology is good for your children. There are plenty of great things about technology and plenty of ways we can use it with our kids to make our lives better, even easier!