What technology does to children

Children on the phones.

Source: natureaddict / Pixabay

In 2007, the iPhone was first announced. Since then, life has not been the same for us modern people, and life has never been more difficult for parents of children who reach the age they want.

I have not yet met a parent who has zero inequalities on the path to their child’s technological independence. After a teenager realizes that his friends have smartphones, the begging begins and does not end until the parents are reluctant to comply. Usually with many requirements that even the best educated child will bypass, push and manipulate. Then come the quarrels and parental complaint of “I should never have given them one in the first place.”

Every parent I know of a teenager on the phone has said that sentence at least once. If this is you – you are not alone!

Children and telephones

I am tempted to use smartphones and the Internet interchangeably, because really at this point in our technological revolution they are almost the same. A child does not use his phone to make calls. They use it to interact in countless ways online. Whether it’s video chat rooms (yes, they still exist), social media, various video sites and the list goes on.

The struggle for parenthood begins when you have to think about how the hell you’re going to put limits on a child when he literally has the world in his pockets. Here are some factors to keep in mind when you have a child with access to technology and how it may affect them. This does not mean that you have to take your child to a desert camp and keep him out of the world.

This is just to inform you as a parent to keep a close eye on your child’s habits and moods while walking in the world we all live in today.

Effect on mood

At the risk of sounding like an after-school major, it’s important to discuss why child monitoring and technology are important in the first place.

There are the usual dangers to personal safety, but there are other more accessible and slippery dangers that children are simply not prepared for. On the one hand, children are incredibly sensitive to what they see and hear, and there is no end to the kind of online content that promotes dangerous, risky or provocative ideas in the mind of a young child.

If you have a child who is prone to episodes of depression or anxiety, they are more likely to search online for content that matches those sentiments. This is not because they are trying to make things worse for themselves. In fact, they try not to feel so alone. The danger is that they are not able at this young age to filter what is true and what is dangerous. Video that they may feel “catching” them can actually create new and more intense feelings of depression that would not develop in isolation.

Social pressure

This is often talked about, but it is still worth mentioning. Girls, especially in their teens, will be self-critical about their bodies and social status. When they receive a steady stream of highly filtered celebrities and what they think may be peers in their pocket, they will conclude that they are missing where others succeed, and the already fragile sense of self-esteem of the child can be broken.

Addictive habits

This is not specific to children, but to all of us. The Internet, social media and smartphones provide us with a highly addictive substance called instant gratification. We can literally know everything we want at any given time and we don’t have to wait. We can order, buy or sell anything we want, almost as easily.

For the same five-minute period, I can book a hotel in Bali, buy groceries (to be delivered to my home), discuss a friend’s recent breakup, and search a medical website to see what this new weird freckles might be. . Do I have to do so many things at once? No! Is it useful? No! Are we learning to be constantly productive and not wait for anything – yes!

For adults, this is a bad habit that needs to be broken. For children, this is a path that can drastically hinder their success in many areas of life that they have not yet mastered and will have to master before reaching independence in adulthood.

What to do

So what do you do as a parent who has already given their child free control of their device? Again, you do not need to completely disconnect your child. Just start wondering how well you pay attention to what they do. If necessary, start making small changes, but the most important thing is to make sure you watch what they do.

Kids will hate it, but you have to know. After all, if they are minors, they are under your care, and that means under your supervision – even online.

Start setting limits. Maybe it’s not a phone on the table. Maybe there’s no phone in the car. Some applications may not be allowed. You make the choice for your family and your child according to their level of responsibility and age – but this is something you need to consider and suggest.

Children need restrictions to grow into healthy adults. Technology is an essential part of our world, so teaching good and safe habits with technology is a major area of ​​parenting that deserves attention.

If you feel adventurous, you can try to set an example by observing your own habits, but as in everything – have grace for yourself and your family as you try to create better days and better ways.

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