In this modern world it is a fact that your children will be growing up surrounded by tech. Whilst older adults can remember the first computers being installed in their school and getting their first mobile phone as a teenager or university student, kids today will have known a world full of tech since they can first remember. One of the challenges of parenthood today is helping kids to use tech safely and intelligently whilst still protecting them from content that is not suitable. Here are three strategies to promote tech-savviness in your children, with a focus on WIC recipients.
Choose their first computer carefully
A child is old enough to use a desktop computer effectively from the ages of around 5-7 when they are at elementary school. During this time they will be encountering computer use in school on a regular basis and may even need a computer to assist with homework tasks. At this point in a child’s development, it is a suitable time to invest in a home computer for the child that can do a variety of tasks. Children at this age will also be interested in gaming as well as for studies and entertainment, so PCs such as the Lenovo 1080p gaming computers range will be able to easily cope with multiple tasks and applications and will remain effective for many years. Ensure that suitable anti-virus and anti-malware software is installed as soon as the computer is set up for the first time, and supervise your children at all times whilst they are on the computer.
Mointor the time they spend on their computer
In terms of playing video games children should be limited to a few hours a week. A study found that playing video games for one hour a week offered benefits to a child’s motor skills development and higher achievement levels in school, but excessive use had detrimental effects in terms of poor behavior and reduced social skills. Be sure to balance small amounts of gaming time with other activities that do not involve sitting at a screen. Outdoor family activities such as country walks and bike rides promote the value of exercise and instil in children the fact that computers are not everything that life has to offer for entertainment. If you find that your children are using computers for excessive amounts of time, there are apps that you can download to your smartphone and link to your computer that will impose time limits on when it can be used.
Educate them on digital safety
Children must be aware that the internet is not a risk-free place and there are sites and content that they should not be accessing. Have family conversations about the need for digital safety in the modern world and encourage them to share their experiences of what they have been doing on the internet. Talk about the advantages of the internet as well as the dangers that it can pose for the younger generations. Stress that they should not be having conversations with people unknown to them online and must never give away any details about themselves. These regular family conversations will educate and inform your children on how to use the internet safely and with a degree of caution—whilst still enjoying its benefits.