Parenting Tip #6
- May 6, 2019
- Posted by: Natalia Amuchastegui
- Category: Parenting tips
Establish and implement a family technology plan.
Much has been written about the use of technology in childhood. Those in favor see it as a tool to enhance the development of children. They argue that when applied to learning, technology improves knowledge retention and favors faster development of fine motor skills.
But we should also be conscious of concerns that scientists have. In the book, El Cerebro del Niño Explicado a los Padres (The Brain of a Child Explained to Parents), Álvaro Bilbao explains why. He is a neuropsychologist and author of the book that dismantles some myths about technology. He compares two situations: the setting of video games, which are highly interactive and provide immediate and constant rewards, with the setting of the classroom, where everything is less entertaining, and it takes effort to achieve results. Bilbao observes: “For children accustomed to the digital world, the school seems slow. They find it difficult to concentrate. They think that books are boring because they have to be read word for word and at the end of the page, little has happened; it takes effort to press through it.”
So, what do the experts recommend? They recommend that we make a family plan. It sets the use of technology that conforms with our family values and parenting style. Many more important activities such as face-to-face interaction, family time, outdoor play and sleep can be displaced by technology if we use it inappropriately. That is why we suggest you make a family plan.
Making a Family Media Plan
Set limits to the use of media. Make unplugged play time a daily priority, especially for very young children. Experts recommend that children under 18-24 months completely avoid digital media, except video chatting; pre-school children 2-5 years old should limit screen time to only 1 hour per day of high-quality programming.
Utilize screen time to promote interaction rather than isolation. Be involved with your children during screen time by watching, playing or interacting together. Playing a video game or watching a movie or show with them gives us the opportunity to share life experiences, exchange perspectives, and it helps us connect with them.
Create technology-free zones. Keep meals or family gathering times screen free. Remove digital devices from bedrooms. These are changes that encourage more family time, while improving sleep and healthier eating habits.
Maintaining a plan can be a difficult task but if it is followed consistently, over time the effort will be worthwhile.
In summary, how can you help your child succeed in school? Establish and implement a family technology plan.
Want to create your own Family Media Plan? Find more information at www.HealthyChildren.com