Growing up in today’s technological world essentially requires you to have a device in your home. But where does that leave us with our children? Finding a balance with how much and what type of screen time your child participates in is important so that they form healthy relationships with technology. Here are three keys for creating healthy habits with toddlers and technology.
1. Be a Present Parent
Whether it’s setting up parental control settings or physically monitoring your child’s technology use, being a present parent is the first step to healthy and safe technology use. Supervision is a great way to spend time with your youngster and helps oversee visits to their favorite websites or e-book. Being present with your child allows you to make sure there are no inappropriate websites or videos that pop up or any important files being clicked on. You can also use this time to walk them through different tasks, applications, or learning experiences.
2. Find the Best Learning Sources
Technology provides ample opportunity to further our children’s early development inside and outside of the classroom. There are many online resources to help your child in finding games and different tasks that challenge them and further their education. Some kid-friendly, educational websites that we recommend are PBS Kids, National Geographic Kids, and Fun Brain. These websites not only provide developmentally-appropriate learning games, but they also have fun facts, books, pictures, and captivating videos. Just remember the importance of not only having the internet at your hands, but also markers and pencils!
3. Set Limits
Limiting technology is another way to help form healthy relationships between toddlers and technology. It’s recommended to spend no more than 2 hours a day on a screen, whether that be televisions, tablets, computers, or phones. Also, make sure that you set the example needed by keeping off of your phone as much as possible. You are a role model for your child! Giving reminders or countdowns to when they will have to get off of technology will help ease them off of it and allowing them to have another activity after technology time makes it easier to hand over the tablet.
Having technology is most definitely a benefit in the modern world – it’s just that we need to know how to use it to our benefit. Otherwise, technology can be a distraction or destruct a vital learning experience. Supervision, positive website and app choices, and limited screen time greatly increases a child’s learning experience while encouraging healthy habits for toddlers and technology.