When is the right time for children to learn technology?
There is something for sure: children will learn technology anyway. There is an ultimate truth: you can’t avoid technology.
But in a mean time I think, I have all the options on the world, to teach children how to properly use of technology.
There are some facts about me:
1. I am a father of three lovely kids.
2. Technology is my life. I work in the computer industry for 10 years.
3. My first contact with computer was, when I was about 11 — the famous rainbow Spectrum:)
4. I never liked games. It was very rare, that I was playing some game.
5. My lovely wife doesn’t like technology at all. But she is actually very good at using it:)
6. My children doesn’t know how to find a Youtube video. They are 6, 4 and 2, but they can wash themselves, change the clothes, clean the house, etc.
Those days, parents are using technology, specially phones and tablets to distract children too many times. In a high-paced world, we are constantly tired, always in hurry and always in stress. The easiest way to “calm down” child is to give hime phone or tablet with some good games, designed specially for being addictive. But is this a good way?
Being parent is hard. Very hard. Much harder, than I thought before children came. We, the parents, are example for children. They do everything like we do. They observe us very precisely, and they do exactly, like we do. If we have our phone always in our hands, what kind of pattern will children get? Not good, right?
Children have to learn a lot. We all have to, to become whoever we are. Those days technology is so user friendly, that our children have actually no problems with learning to use it. But learning to use it is different than learning to properly use it.
How I manage technology and children?
I don’t push children to use technology. There is no need to. They will have plenty of time to use it later. Even though I don’t hide technology from them. But there is a significant border between “don’t hide” and “letting freely use it”. They never use technology “unattended”. For very good reason.
Nice apps those days can suck you in so fast, that you don’t even know. Just look at the last hit: Pokemon Go. I was on vacation and in one week, there was total boom. And when you are in is very hard to stop, even for adults. So, that is why, every use of technology for children have to be supervised and planned.
Children have to know when is time for fun and when is time to make some work. House is not going to be clean by magic. Personal hygiene is not happening by mistake. There is a world out there. Children has so much to learn, that they just can’t afford to play computer games all day.
Movement is very important for children. They have to develop muscles, they have to train their heart, they have to develop healthy way of life… Don’t we see what we are taking away from them, if we let them play games all day?
What should children do with technology?
There is no need to completely avoid children from technology. They have to see what those devices are capable. But, they have to see also the positive way. How to use it, when to use it and the most important thing: how can I use technology for something good?
Teach them how to use tools on devices, teach them about basic principles of computers logic, teach them about games too, teach them when is a good time to use devices, teach them not to loosing time on devices and for the last: teach them how and when to turn off!