Every child born today or since the millennial generation are surrounded by smartphones, tablets, and laptops. It is common that children spend hours of time every day looking at a tiny screen, with less exposure to traditional play activities.
“Is my child too obsessed with tech devices?” It is probably the question every parent have asked. It is known that children overusing technology will lead to negative impacts on physical and mental development, such as obesity (due to lack of exercise), inattention, poor short-term memory and being less sociable.
As parents, we all worry about those impacts, but stopping children from using tech devices doesn’t sound to be practical – nowadays computer courses have become part of the primary school curriculums, STEM education is on a rise, the internet is where both children and adults gain new knowledge from, and everyone connects with friends through social media and Whatsapp.
There is no doubt that technology has become part of our lives and children must use technology. The questions are how much, how often and to what extent. Child development experts recommend limiting children’s daily screen time, such that the health impacts on children due to technology can be minimalized. Now let’s look at some measures that can be taken to prevent children from tech addiction:
6 tips to prevent tech addiction in children
1. Screen time control
Recent studies suggest that children under 2 years old should not be exposed to any screen time including TV, smartphones and tablets. Children aged 2 to 4 years old should have less than one hour per day of screen time. When children are 5 years old and older, they should have at most two hours per day of recreational screen time.
2. Schedule time for using & not using the devices
To limit children’s screen time effectively, schedule one or more time slot in a day that your child is permitted to use their devices. It’s recommended that each time of use is no longer than 1 hour. On the other hand, set some “tech-free” time, such as during meals, bedtime and homework. If family activities are involved within the “tech-free” time, make sure all family members have no devices on their hands.
3. Put away the devices after use
It is always tempting to roll our phone when it is placed nearby. Make sure not to place technical devices in your child’s sleeping room, and put them away every time after use.
4. Plan social and outdoor activities for children
Kids tend to rely more on tech devices when they are lack of other entertainments. Try to plan different types of outdoor and social activities that they might enjoy.
5. Connect “Technology” with “Reality”
If your child already has some signs of tech addiction, guide him/her to merge technology into real life, such as taking a video in the streets then upload it to Youtube, finding the right direction with Google Map, or just simply bring him/her to a computing class to explore talents and make new friends!
6. Encourage children to make good use of tech devices
Technology is not just about pure entertainment. Parents should encourage children to make good use of technology by designating some interesting tasks to them. For example, you can ask your kid to create a family album, which involves photo taking and editing skills, or to propose where to have dinner after doing research on the internet. Children should be praised and rewarded whenever they use their device to learn, create and solve problems, instead of just simply having fun with games. Children who use tech devices in a healthy way are less likely to get tech-addicted. More importantly, they will gain useful knowledge through the self-learning process.
Facilitate children’s learning through coding education
As long as the screen time is limited, technology is not always a bad thing for kids. Oppositely, since nowadays every aspect of our life becomes digital and schools focus more on STEM education, kids with computer knowledge would definitely have great advantages. So don’t be too worried when your kid shows a strong interest in technology – it means he or she might have the potential to become a digital talent.
If you want your children to build up computing skillsets, taking them to join a coding course for kids would be the ideal way. Through the learning process, kids will also enhance creativity, problem-solving, logical thinking skills. They can also improve their communication skill through cooperating with other classmates face-to-face, such that they can grow as an all-rounded person.
Want your kids to learn to code? Visit First Code Academy to learn more about our courses and classes.