Key points from the article -
- Being mindful
- Treat media as you would treat any other aspect of their life
- Accessing books and school resources
- Technology as a media pacifier
- Shared space
We are living in the 21st century, the age of technology. Most of last year was spent at homes, not knowing what’s going to happen next, we spent our days and nights amidst great uncertainty, loss, fear but also hope, love, new beginnings and while all of this was happening, we were staying connected to those that are in our lives through technology.
With cases still rising we again face a time of difficulty, during this, modern day technology becomes our escape route. We spend hours on social media, watching television, going about our day to day activities. Technology is in every part, every corner of our homes nearly. Children have their online lectures through laptops or cellphones, those who are working from home are using technology.Technology is being used in the field of science, in medicine, art, any and every field these days. With us being surrounded by technology, it’s also important to be mindful of its uses and misuses. Everything that we do has a reaction. Using technology in a way that it benefits us the most and eliminating any negative factors is a key to our sanity and mental health. Here are some way in which you can make proper use of technology:-
- Being mindful-
It is very easy to spread hate on social media. There will always be someone who is trying to put you down or make you feel bad about yourself. With children also being more and more online these days, it’s important to teach them the value of positive reinforcements, positive words, and spreading happiness instead of hate. As parents, it is our duty to protect our children from any negative comments or bullying, hate speeches, etc. We at Shivneri boarding school have a strict anti-bullying policy. At our boarding school students are allotted a specific time where they can use their mobile phones, laptops, their gadgets, thus reducing the risk of their exposure to the negativity on social media platforms.
- Treat media as you would treat any other aspect of their life-
The same parenting rules and limits apply when dealing with real and virtual environments. Create a system where your child first finishes his homework and then has time for playing games online or watching cartoons/shows. Know your children’s friends, their teachers, those who they talk to online and offline. Know what platforms, software, and apps your children are using, what sites they are visiting on the web, and what they are doing online. Kids of different ages will have different social media use timings. Kids who are less than 2 years of age should not have any screen time apart from when video-calling. Typically your screen time should increase based on your age.
Older kids who are also applying for colleges and are preparing for competitive exams such as CAT have more research to do online than students who are in the 4th grade. We at Shivneri boarding school have a strict rule of our students using technology and screen time. Students can watch television for a few hours, talk to their parents, and use social media after dinner and before sleeping.
- Accessing books and school resources-
With kindles and audiobooks being easily accessible to children, it’s not that difficult to develop a learning habit from a young age. Parents don’t need to leave the comfort of their homes and spend time in libraries or bookstores searching for the right book!
Online learning means online assignment submissions, online lectures, exchanging on notes means not having to carry physical textbooks. Students no longer have to worry about carrying heavy textbooks or forgetting assignments. This is especially beneficial for those children who have split living arrangements with their children.
- Technology as a media pacifier-
We’ve all been guilty of occasionally letting children watch their favorite television show for more than their time limit. As parents no matter how much we try, kids can sometimes get on our nerves and we can all relate to the bad days that we face. Television, Cartoons, social media these are all effective tools in keeping kids calm and quiet, but it should not be the only way they learn to calm down. Let kids learn that technology and gadgets are allowed and are to be used only for a limited period of time.
- Shared space-
Technology is a great learning tool when used in the right manner. Parents can use this as a great bonding tool for their kids. There are many ways in which parents and children can use technology and spend time together. Some of these methods are: -
Join a class together:
If you kid is interested in painting, then you can join a class together and learn how to paint. These days, there are classes and videos for almost everything! Kids can learn coding, dancing, singing, if your child is into science, watch home science videos on youtube and then recreate some easy experiments with your child!
Watching something together:
Parents and children can watch movies together, play games online and do lots of things that interest both children and parents. Planning activities together is a great way to bond with your children.
As parents, it’s important for us to understand that kids will be kids who will make mistakes when using social media or technology. Handling errors with empathy instead of straight jumping to conclusions or punishments can have a negative effect on your child. Some indiscretions, such as sexting, bullying, or posting self-harm images, may be a red flag that hints at trouble ahead. Parents must observe carefully their children's behaviors and, if needed, enlist supportive professional help, including the family pediatrician.
It’s important to keep the lines of communication open and let them know that no matter what happens, you will always be around to take care of them and if and when they make a mistake, they should feel free to talk to them.