The Digital Age, as it is now popularly known, is one filled with marvel, wonder, and brilliance especially with regard to technology. It’s almost as though there is a new invention or technological development every other day. While this is a great thing for humanity in general, it is a worrying factor for a parent. I mean, where does the buck stop? How much is too much when it comes to our kids and technology?
When it exposes your child’s identity. Aside from the fact that your kids are independent individuals who are entitled to privacy, it is your duty as a parent to protect them from the world. Unfortunately, the things that used to lurk in the dark now roam freely during daylight, taking advantage of your child’s gadgets and internet usage. As a parent, you might think that the wearable device that helps you monitor your child’s health and whereabouts is amazing. In fact, it should help you keep your child safe, right? But unless it has sophisticated safeguards, it is a beacon that leads bad guys straight to your child. Then there is the internet, where you child’s identity is up for grabs from social media accounts and other online information repositories unless you take measures against this.
When it corrupts your child. The internet is the greatest culprit in this case, There is just so much information out there that is harmful to your child and this 'list' is growing every day. The obvious issue is pornography, but honestly, that is just the tip of a giant iceberg.
When it harms your child’s health. We could discuss just how harmful technology is to your child’s physical health with everything from eyesight problems to obesity and more. Nevertheless, we will focus on the effect of technology on your child’s mental health, because I feel this is a topic that is still greatly overlooked. Cyber-bullying is one of the most harmful aspects of the internet and it could destroy your child’s entire life. Mental health and wellness is a broad subject that touches on the mind, and behaviour. If certain technology is affecting your child’s behaviour (mood swings, being glued to devices and getting snappy at the mention of physical activity) then it is already too much. Technology should never be a substitute for social interaction, particularly in kids.
Technology can be said to be too much if it affects the normal growth, development, and safety of your child in any way. As parents we should have a sceptical outlook on everything regardless of how good it looks on paper. I am a firm believer in the concept of “better safe than sorry”.
Let us know your thoughts, experiences and techniques you've used with kids and technology by commenting below!