Digital Health in Children: Do’s and Don’ts
The immense impact of growth in technology and digital media can be seen in young children today. Kids as young as two or three years old learn to use iPads and smartphones, learn to play videos on YouTube, or even learn to play basic games and respond to sounds. All this has shown us that the use of technology has so age bar. However, the reliance on digital media comes with its cons as well. To develop positive digital health in your children, follow these tips to promote the healthy use of technology right from the beginning.
Children and Technology
Before we dive into the guidelines for your children, let’s look at some facts. A 2015 study indicated that 53% of children between 8-12 years have their own tablets and 64% of teenagers have their smartphones.
Subsequently, another study conducted with parents of such children indicated that 58% of parents worry about the influence of social media on their children at such a young age and that 48% are in a constant battle with their children over screen time and managing the use of technology.
These facts show that the modern world poses modern problems for new parents and the need to keep finding new and sustainable ways to manage digital well-being in children is more important than ever.
Guidelines and Tips for Improved Digital Health in Children
Remember, there are no hard and fast to managing digital health in your children. Some ways are tried and tested, but it might not necessarily work out for all. Every child reacts differently to rules and guidelines. So, the responsibility falls on you as parents to figure the best way to manage the use of technology with your children, without provoking or making them upset.
Some successful guidelines set by child psychologists are:
- Age-appropriate content management: Manage content type instead of managing screen time. By regulating screen time, you cannot always manage the content they may get exposed to in that given time. Therefore, by regulating the type of content they get access to can help balance their digital health and well-being.
- Discuss the pros and cons of technology with your child: Talking to your children about using technology with care and caution is essential. It is considered best practice to keep your children informed about the benefits and risks of using digital media, so they apply caution every time they use it.
- Do not panic or overreact when they might throw tantrums: Do not snatch their phones or tablets away with an intention to teach them a lesson or to ground them for bad behavior - it often has the opposite effect. Nor is it a good practice to impose harsh restrictions that bans them from using technology if they make a mistake. Instead, talk to them calmly and let them know what they are doing wrong and come to a mutually agreeable consensus.
- Keep track of their online activity: Pay attention to the apps they use, the websites they visit, and the content they look at. Regardless of how much you regulate their use of technology, children always find a way to look up things they are not “allowed” to at their age. By keeping a watch on their viewing history will give you a better idea of what they are doing. Additionally, it will also give you a sense of how to manage their digital well-being.
Note: These guidelines are merely to help parents start thinking about the concept of digital well-being in children. Keep an eye out on this space for more articles on this topic, and on kid’s fashion and latest trends.Parents, you can also read about tips to cope with online schooling and virtual summer camps for your children here!