Guide your Children to Use Technology Considerately and Economically

Edited by Debbie, Charmed, Rose B, Lynn and 6 others

Not too long ago, each family member would go their own way in the morning and not talk to one another again until the evening. Now, 70% of couples with cellphones contact each other on a daily basis just to say hello, and 42% of parents get in touch with their children daily using their phone.

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How is This Affecting Your Physical and Mental Health?

Can excessive or improper use of technology be harmful to people mentally and physically?

Take for instance a married couple who are notorious for contacting each other constantly - at the gym, in their cars, and they would even call each other from different rooms inside their house. Sometimes they would accumulate four thousand minutes, more than 66 hours a month, and commented that they could not survive without their phone. A mental health specialist said that they had all the signs of addiction, he said it was like having a relationship through an object.

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Texting on cell phones.jpg

That example may seem extreme, but it shows a troublesome trend. For many people the thought of being out of contact for even an hour is difficult. There are many people who obsessively check their email, and constantly message their friends and family via messaging or text.

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If being connected takes up more and more of your time and it becomes your favorite pastime, excluding everything else, that is a warning sign that something is not quite right. People who close themselves in for hours on end with computers, cellphones, etc., get little if any exercise and are at risk for developing health problems.

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Because a growing number of children use cellphones and computers, as well as entertainment at home, they need to use these gadgets wisely and sensibly. How can they be helped?

This Generation is in Danger

In the past, we worried about our children spending too much time in front of the television. Now we have video games, cellphones, and computers. Many people cannot leave home without their media player or cellphone. As these and other devices become more influential and less expensive, the present flood of communications technology will only increase, creating, even more, challenges for parents regarding how they supervise, discipline, and teach their children. In many homes, television is a child's introduction to technology. It often becomes the babysitter. Mental health professionals believe that premature and excessive contact with the TV, can encourage disinterest in physical exercise, create emotional problems, and later in the classroom, promote daydreaming. Some children may even get diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, and not even have it.

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A working knowledge of computers and related technologies may be important, even necessary for millions of children, but if you sense your children are using up too much time on computers, and games, it might be wise to expand their interests. Why not help them learn a craft, or maybe introduce them to the joy of playing a musical instrument? Learning other activities can teach your child patience, self-control, and creativity.

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Things We Can Do To Help Our Children

  1. 1
    Let your Children Know the Dangers of the Internet
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    When it comes to technology and the Internet, children may be quick learners, but not having enough life experience which makes them naive, and therefore targets of internet predators. You need to teach them about the dangers, and how to avoid them. Take, for instance, social networks. This may let young ones meet other people their age, but the sites are also a shopping mall for sexual predators. Parents should encourage them not to put personal information online such as where they live, phone numbers, and pictures. #Be responsible parents. Three things you absolutely need to do if you have children.
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    1. Monitor what your children are doing on social media. Have their passwords if they are younger, even "Friending" your children on Facebook will teach you more than you may want to know about your child.
    2. Do not let younger kids surf the net will in their bedrooms. This should even include teens. Most of the bad things that happen to kids via the internet, happen when kids are alone in their rooms with the rest of the cyber world. Having a computer in their room increases the incidents of sexual predators, bullying, their visiting inappropriate sites, sleep deprivation - they online when they should be sleeping.
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  2. 2
    Parental control
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    Get it. Use it.
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  3. 3
    Set appropriate limits
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    If your child is by himself for hours on end playing with their devices, why not set up technology free times and zones in the home. For everything, there is an appointed time. Time for family, visit with friends, do homework, and eat a meal. Reasonable rules regularly enforced, give family life organization and help children to have good manners, consideration for others, and social interaction. Here are some ways we can use technology considerately and economically:  
    1. Treat others with respect when using your cellphone. Show good manners when you are with your friends. If you spend all your time on the cellphone or computer, they could feel hurt or offended because you aren't actually spending any time with them.
    2. Set one day in your family that's a "gadget free" day. Absolutely no one, including you, will touch a Laptop, a PC, a Tablet, or any other device. Everyone should talk to each other and ask them about their week. It would be wise to start the talking over food. Like for example, breakfast or lunch. It should be a family gathering - talk, love, concern, laughter. When someone wants to talk, all eyes and ears are on him, no distractions. Everyone showing each other that they matter, not the gadgets.
    3. Eat meals together. Don't allow gadgets at the table...this includes answering the phone. It can wait. It can always wait.
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  4. 4
    Spend Your Money Wisely
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    The commercial world wants us to buy all the latest gadgets that come out. Be wise and evaluate your motives and needs before spending your hard earned money. If you feel you need a new phone, or computer, you can ask yourself if you really need it, and all the costly extras that come along with it.
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Many products of science and technology are useful and can save us much time and energy. We want to be able to use them responsibly and considerately.

Controlling Your Children's Technology Usage

You have to control or regulate your children's technology usage. You have to point out to them the advantages and disadvantages of using technology today. Give them a clear view of how it can affect their lives.

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  1. 1
    Be your children's role model
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    You have to show your kids that there is a proper time to use these devices. What you are doing can be imitated by your children. So, if they see that you are overly attached to your gadgets, they will learn that behavior from you.
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  2. 2
    Talk to your children about the importance of technology
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    Explain to them the proper usage and guide them in using it.
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  3. 3
    Make an agreement concerning when they can use their devices
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    1. Make sure their important chores are not affected, especially their studies.
    2. Allow them to use it only if they have finished doing their school assignments or other tasks.
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  4. 4
    Evaluate how they are doing in school with and without using the technology.
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  5. 5
    Be present and get involved when they are using the gadgets
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    Try to make it a bonding moment when you use these gadgets, so you will know what your child is doing, and at the same time, your child will give importance in using them.
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  6. 6
    Set parental controls to prevent your children from accessing websites that are inappropriate.
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TIPS

  • Try not to take or make a phone call when where you might disturb others.
  • Turn your phone off when possible.
  • Don't let your phone interrupt important conversations with friends unless it is an important call.
  • Don't take someone's picture with your cellphone if it is embarrassing to the person.
  • Try not to forward EVERY interesting email you receive. This may be aggravating to your friends.
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If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please post in the comments section below.

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Article Info

Categories : Parenting

Recent edits by: vc, Nuance, Alma

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