There might be this oversimplification amongst some parents that using electronic devices (phones, tablets, gaming devices) is totally bad and we should limit our kids’ use of them as much as possible. While there are indeed dangers and downsides to over-indulging on technology, we should not dismiss the many beneficial outcomes that may arise from their time on screen. Rather than banning screen time altogether, we could instead prepare our kids mentally and direct our kids in its use so that our kids can enjoy themselves and at the same time find value on electronic devices.
1. The internet is a great place to be exposed to creativity
The internet is the great melting pot of the many creative ideas all around the world. Creativity is being expressed constantly via new video content, new music, new artform or even new games. It’s a great place for our kids to learn how to think out of the constraints of their physical environment and to become more open-minded individuals. Rather letting them just consume content blindly, we could actively engage with your kids on what made certain content so funny or interesting and get them to share with you things they saw that really blew their minds. Encourage them to actively put such creativity to use whenever they have the opportunity. You will be surprised how creative your kids can become.
2. Online platforms allow for collaboration
The internet has allowed for collaboration like never before. It allows kids to build important negotiating skills, emotional skills, problem solving skills and leadership skills from a young age. Encourage your kids to be active on platforms that focus on creating a safe environment for kids like Minecraft and get your kids to share with you their experience online, times they took leadership or crossed a communication hurdle and also difficulties with communication they face. These are useful teaching moments that can help them learn to cope with social issues. Heck, you can even join them in their games and forums and make it your own bonding time with the kids.
3. Learning the wonders of technology at a young age
Let’s face it. The power of technology is revolutionizing our lives. We should help kids understand the power of technology at a young age. Creating videos help us tell better stories. Coding has become an important skill to use in all kinds of industries. Encourage your kids to use technology to create! Make simple home videos to share with friends and relatives. Use media to tell stories and be creative. These are valuable skills that they may not learn at school.
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All the best to you on your parenting journey!