Children and responsible use of new technologies

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Joe Dispenza

Children and responsible use of new technologies

Last update: December 02, 2017

When we were children, technology was practically non-existent or at least did not have the leading role it has now. And we were excited about going out and playing. After school, we just wanted to visit our friends or run the length and breadth of the park. We didn't need the new technologies; the top, marbles or a ball were enough for us to be happy and enjoy our free time.

Today the situation seems to have changed. In many cases, children spend their free hours glued to the screens of technological devices. They start by watching television after school and continue playing on their parents' tablet or cell phone. And so on ... What can we do to prevent them from using new technologies too much? Read on!

“We live in a society that is deeply dependent on science and technology and where nobody knows anything about these issues. This represents a sure recipe for disaster "

-Carl Sagan-

The dangers of being constantly glued to screens

On many occasions, when we struggle to get a child to do something (like eat, for example) we turn to the internet or television. We show him some cartoons so that he doesn't protest and is calm. If we achieve our goal in this way, what is wrong with that? The problem arises when the use becomes excessive and ends up being addictive.

So, for example, in the case just seen it can happen that baby face i capricci every time he doesn't have a screen in front of him when he has to eat. He'll get stuck not wanting to eat without his cartoons. What to do when the cure becomes worse than the disease itself? This is the crux of the matter.

"The cure is worse than the disease"

-Spanish proverb-

The reality is that the misuse of new technologies can cause children to spend hours glued to their screens. This way they spend less time on other activities, such as playing with other children, talking with their family, relaxing or doing homework. The quality and quantity of their interpersonal relationships, therefore, can be significantly reduced, given that they have the possibility of isolating themselves and losing social support.

The same happens with school grades: you can see a marked deterioration due to the lack of time dedicated to study. Finally, as with the aforementioned whims, the child's behavior can become complicated and disruptive, up to the possible appearance of behavioral disorders.

“Technology is just a tool. People use tools to improve their lives "

-Tom Clancy-

Parents have the key to change: promoting responsible use of new technologies

Parents hold the key to avoiding this. Responsible use of new technologies can be encouraged at home, which in themselves are not necessarily bad if used to the right extent. This way children will make healthy use of it.

In order for the little ones to put these information, learning and entertainment tools to good use, the first thing adults need to do is know what their children like. Surfing the internet or playing a few video games together will help you get in tune, get to know each other and communicate better with them. This way we will know directly what they like to do and what they don't.

This will allow us to propose other activities to spend free time. For example, we could go from suggesting that they read in general to suggesting that they look for a book on a topic that we know arouses their interest in a particular way. It's a good way to motivate them more to vary their forms of entertainment. The same is true when they propose a sport to practice or excursions to do, because we can do it according to their tastes.

The rules on new technologies

But not only, it is also necessary to check how long they use new technologies. Indicatively, it is advisable to limit the use of television to one hour per day, and that of consoles to 3 or 4 hours per week. Parents, therefore, should establish a precise schedule for these activities, communicating to the child when he can do it or not.

As for the location of the TV, consoles and computer, it is better that they are in a place accessible to all, not in the child's room. In this way, we can know which websites he is visiting or what he is watching on television, making sure they are suitable for his age. But not only that, we will also avoid that he isolates himself from the rest of the family or sleeps little to use these new technologies.

Finally, for the education of our children we usually resort to the use of various things (material and otherwise) both as positive reinforcement and as punishment, for children to change behaviors that we consider inappropriate. It is better not to use new technologies for this purpose, because we could promote a prominent role for children, increasing their anxiety when they do not have access to them.

Images courtesy of Pan Xiaozhen,, and Tetsuya Tomomatsu.

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