Parenting was already a full-time gig, even before the advent of advanced technology like computers, video games, tablets, and smart phones. With all of the technological resources in society today, these tools are becoming a more and more integral part of people’s lives, and children need to be able to use these resources effectively.
As a parent, teaching your children about technology can feel difficult, because it is always changing. But by educating yourself and your child, you can help your family take full advantage of the technological resources available. That way, technology won’t be quite so scary, and you’ll actually make the parenting job a little bit easier.
1. Get Educated
If technology isn’t a huge part of your children’s lives already, that’s probably because they’re a bit too young. Even toddlers are using online educational games these days, though, so it’s important to get hip to the technology that your kids will likely be using very soon, if not at home then at school and at friends’ houses.
Getting to know the technological landscape will put you in a better position when it comes to teaching your child about different devices. If you know what resources are beneficial and which might lead to trouble, you will be better prepared to make decisions as to which you will make available for your child.
2. Exercise Your Control
It very well may be the case that your child knows more about technology than you do—at least regarding certain devices. Even if that’s the case, keep in mind that you should be deciding which tools your son or daughter should have access to. That way, you will be able to help your children avoid running into problems of addiction to video games or inappropriate behavior on the internet.
In addition, you should use the filters available on your computer and provide limits on the amount of time spent using computers or video games, in addition to restricting the content your children access.
3. Make Resources Available
You should keep reasonable restrictions on your children’s usage of technology, but you should also help them understand the benefits of computers and similar tools. When your children are first starting to use the computer, talk to them about why computers are so important in everyday life and how they can get the most benefit from using a computer.
In addition, it helps to make some technology available early on. Avoiding doing so will only force your child to play catch-up later on, when they will undoubtedly be using computer programs in school and for professional pursuits.
4. Utilize Technology for the Family
You children aren’t the only ones who should be using the technological resources available. You can also use technology to make the parenting job a whole lot easier.
Consider your responsibilities as a parent. Juggling so many jobs as a parent can be difficult, but the purpose of technology is to make things easier to handle. The internet is a great resource for parenting tips and also education resources for your children. In addition, you can utilize smart phone apps to help you out with your various responsibilities as a parent. Some apps help organize your errands so that you don’t forget anything in your busy schedule. Apps like the Family Medical Manager make it easy to track all of the family’s medical information. There are even apps to help you through the potty-training process.
Technology can feel like something you have to protect your children from, but in reality it can be a great resource for you and the rest of your family if used appropriately.
Ben Blanchard is the Programming Services Manager for Acadian, the creator of the Family Medical Manager app. The Family Medical Manager app is the definitive medical record app for families and individuals.