Singaporean children are tech-savvy individuals. Wherever you go, you see them carrying their smartphones, iPads, laptops and tablets. They use it mainly for social media. Taking pictures of their food, or flooding their timeline with their selfies, gadgets have become inseparable to them. There is even a study, that majority of the people who owns a new apple products belong to the younger group.
As a responsible parent, you only want the best for your child. But at the same time you also think of their safety. You also don’t have the ability to monitor them 24/7 on what they are doing, who are they chatting with, or worse are they being bullied online? Recognize that younger generation classifies wants as needs. Parents will insist that mobile phones are just material wants but for many kids it is a necessity. You must understand that you also had this similar conversation with your parents when you were still a kid. So communicate with them calmly and work with them instead of against them. Technology should connect people and not create a wall between family members. Encouraging your children to keep in touch with extended family members via email, SMS, or Skype can bring your family closer together. Set rules and limits to the amount of time your children can spend in front of their computer or phones every day. No more than 2 hours a day is fair enough for them to do whatever they want. If you have kids under the age of 5, it is better if you keep them away from technology. According to experts, kids will develop more if they spend more time in playing, reading, and interacting with adults and other kids. Be realistic. Is buying the new released smartphone something you can afford? Why not encourage your kids to save their own money, so that they can buy anything they want. This way, they will learn how to value money and be a responsible individual. Interact with them from time to time. Make this as your quality bonding time with them. By doing this, your children will be much more open to you about certain things that he/she might be afraid in opening up.
As technological advances continue to spread, so as your children’s wish list grows. Here are some things to consider before you decide buying that pink iPhone 5C your daughter keeps bugging you about:
PICK GADGETS THAT ARE EDUCATIONAL
There are many gadgets out there that enhance their skill in Mathematics, Vocabulary, Grammar and Spelling. Buying these kinds of gadgets gets your money’s worth, because not only is it fun and interactive it can get them high grades too in school.
MULTI-SENSORY TOYS AND GADGETS
Toys and gadgets that gives sensory attraction to kids will have them develop more meaningfully. There are many games and apps out there that have great visuals and sounds to stimulate the interest of your child.
Of course, you want to get the best value for your money, so only choose gadgets that can withstand the test of time.
CONSIDER YOUR CHILD’S INTEREST
It is good to have your kid’s try on to new things. But encouraging them to focus on what they really love is much better. There are many toys and gadgets out there that are specific to your child’s interest. This can also prevent your children exposed to violent toys and games.
CHOOSE SAFE AND NON-TOXIC MATERIALS
Finally, parents should always be careful and keen on inspecting the material of the toy or gadget. Only buy them at reliable stores.
We cannot avoid children from technology. In fact, it is already a basic right for children to be connected to the Internet. As parents, it is our duty to guide them and help them. Instill in them that too much of anything is unhealthy, moderation is key!