One of the most common questions after I talk on technology is by parents asking “should I allow my children access to the internet and give them devices to connect with?”
First of all – yes, absolutely! This is the future and we need our children to develop skills and to train themselves in the use of tablets and computers and Internet access.
Secondly though, not unfettered access. Access needs to be managed and monitored. It needs to be controlled.
If your children are going on to social media (after the age of 13) you have to be one of their friends and you need to connected in with them and see what they doing. The older they get the more freedom and privacy you give them, but no fourteen year old needs privacy! You need to be managing and monitoring them.
Thirdly – you also need to be limiting the time that is spent online. Screen time. (TV, Video, iPad, internet, laptop, phones.) Limit their screen time and make sure that they switch off their screens at least one hour before bedtime to allow their brains a chance to slow down. I would also suggest not allowing them to connect immediately in the morning, but to have a slow start. Breakfast time with the family and then back to their devices.
- So yes, give them devices!
- Definitely monitor and manage their access and
- Limit screen time to a certain number of hours per day or week (whatever that number is for you and your family it needs to be limited and managed by you.)
This is the future are you ready for it?