When it comes to modern parenting, bringing up a child is a genuine struggle between letting go too freely and suffocating him.
Parents are often divided when it comes to allowing their kids to use the internet. Some believe that the internet is dangerous, considering how much false and sensitive content is on the net. Others believe that the internet does have its upsides and Children must be made aware of how it is used.
As a parent, I believe in trusting your children and placing strategic restrictions so as to not obstruct their creativity or stand in their way of learning.
Benefits of Using the Internet
Several studies have been done to see what impact the internet has on children. Most of the time, these studies have mixed results. Some say that children should not be exposed to the net at all until they are older. Others say that with the right use, the internet can be a treasure trove to help children become better.
But, how can the internet be good for your kids? Here is the list of benefits which you may need to consider.
Access to a wealth of information
Before the internet was created, people had to use books, newspapers and other printed content to find information. Sometimes, they are unable to get the right information because the source they needed is not available.
With the internet, children can now search from thousands of websites for information. They can even use it to discover new topics thanks to the links provided. Some credible sources which are normally hard to get are even available online like journals and books.
The internet often uses a variety of mediums to get users interested. Some sites have Interactive options, which allows users to interact with the system to get content.
With these sites, your child can practice their hand-eye coordination as they need to press certain keys to get the information they need. Not to mention, they will require to practise typing skills, applying shortcuts like Ctrl+C for copy and Ctrl+V for paste.
Since computers are now the best way to get information, it can inspire your child to learn more about research.
They will start adjusting their questions to get a more precise answer. You will slowly notice that their language skills have improved immensely because of the information they can get online.
Interactive websites can also help your child learn how to solve problems. When they start browsing the net, they will need to figure out how to navigate around the site.
As they learn, they will be able to understand how the internet works and even do troubleshooting if the internet does not work.
Everything in Moderation
As they say about most things, too much of one thing can be dangerous. With the internet, this risk is serious, do consider what is available online.
For parents, here are some tips to help you guide your child in using the internet properly.
Screen time moderation
Smartphones and tablets are a great way to have our children occupied when their boredom reaches its peak. However, it is important that their use is limited and mixed with active play and interaction.
You should also try your best to make sure they don’t use all their screen time in one day and stop them from using it hours before bedtime. LCD screens can cause sleep disruptions and prevent the production of melatonin, a sleep hormone that allows people to sleep deeply.
Interactive is better than passive
According to research, technology and the internet can produce more results if it is interactive.
Oftentimes, users are passive when using the internet or just simply reading or watching what is online. Interactive use will challenge users to stay active and stimulate their mind to discover how they can get the best content.
When your child goes online, spend time with them and challenge them as they take on information. You can get them to think if the content they found is credible. You can also join them in reading the content and what it is all about.
When using the internet, it is important that children read and interact with high-quality content. If low-quality content is perused by the child, it influences the way they think and act. It also causes other problems such as sleep problems and lack of socialization.
You can ensure that your child is using high-quality content by using apps that can control your child’s screen time. Several smartphones now have applications where parents can control what kind of apps and games children can use. These apps can even help you restrict their access to popular websites.
There are also websites which have a kid-friendly version, such as YouTube for kids. While using these sites, stay with your child and talk to them about these content.
Finally, the internet opens new doors for users to reach out to others.
Social media, in particular, now helps families and friends interact with one another even if they are in different parts of the globe. These sites even make content interactive and engaging.
As you have your child browse high-quality content, check the features of the website and check its age appropriation. Not all websites and apps list this specific fact so review the site before you let your child check it. If you see that the site or app is good for your child, let them use it. If not, block the site or app through your tracking app. There are telcos like Starhub who provides a parental app that helps you to manage your kid’s online access.
You should also take some time to teach your child about the risks of using the internet. Let them know what to do when strangers suddenly chat up with them online, as well as what to do when they get into a site they do not know. You should also teach your child how they should share information online.
The internet has a lot of things to offer to its users. Everyday, it keeps on introducing something new to improve how users use it. If you are planning to introduce the internet to your child, make sure that you do your research and guide them accordingly.
While too much internet use is bad, using it moderately and effectively can help your child in the long run. A good internet habit will also help your child become responsible internet users
For more parental guidance on technology for kids, here are some articles to share:
Parents Need-To-Know: How Technology Has Changed Learning In Our Singapore Schools
Technology in the Classroom: Print Vs. Digital Textbooks
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