Make plenty of time to do activities together as a family, rather than relying on electronic gadgets to entertain your child
Recently, a study regarding mobile devices usage in kids was conducted in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, with over 2,500 parents of kids aged between 3 to 8 years as participants.
Through the study, most Southeast Asian parents expressed their worries regarding their kids’ device usage patterns and wondered what they could do to keep this under control.
Sara Pinel, the Marketing and Operations Director of Singapore-based information, communications and technology company Tekkie Help, has some useful tips to share with regards to usage of devices in kids.
Kids and gadgets tip 1: Choose quality apps
It’s not just a case of handing over your phone or tablet; it’s finding the right quality of apps that is important. Pick ones which feed your child’s interests and strengths, while pushing the boundaries to support them to explore and learn new things.
Take the time to do the research and test them out. Choose a variety of activities: stories, puzzles, music, phonics, maths, role-play, art etc.
Get involved with your child’s use of devices and technology
Kids and gadgets tip 2: Get involved
Try to dedicate some time to use technology together with your child. Watch your kids play a game or navigate a website.
Ask them questions to spur their learning and to encourage critical thinking. If they are stuck on a level that’s become too easy, ask if they know how to move up and help them if necessary.
Kids and gadgets tip 3: Be a role model
Your attitude towards IT is important in influencing the relationship your children will have with it. All too often, parents can become so absorbed in a device that it becomes a barrier for communication with their children.
Think about the message you are sending next time you answer the phone in the middle of a game or surf the internet when you are on the bus with your children.
More tips on the next page…
Other than the advice presented by Sarah on the previous page, here are some more useful tips when it comes to making your kid’s device use a meaningful experience.
- Limit screen time to not more than 30 minutes to an hour a day.
- Balance the use of high-tech devices with other healthy, everyday activities such as outdoor play, going for walks with your kids or reading them books.
- Try not to use devices as baby-sitters. But having said that, there are days when as parents, we all need time to reconnect with our partners or have a moment to ourselves. In such a situation, letting your kid use your Smartphone or tablet while you take a breather is nothing to feel guilty about.
- Teach your kids about online safety from a very young age, especially with regard to information-sharing, spending and questionable content.
- Encourage open discussion about these subjects — tell your kids to ask you any questions they may have.
- With older kids, set firm house rules about device usage, related to content and duration of use etc.
- Find out about safe and age-appropriate apps that are already out there and that also offer parental control features.
Do you let your kids use electronic devices? What are your main concerns about device use by kids?
Article originally published on: theAsianparent.com
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