Tips to bring children closer to technology safely

Without a doubt, technology has an important place in people’s daily lives and experts believe that this interaction with electronic or smart devices will become closer as the years go by.

Due to this situation, parents are constantly looking for ways to initiate interactions in order to learn how to use technology safely with their little ones.

The monitoring by an adult, about what the child can see, hear or interact with the device and the time of use, is a matter of great importance to guide him in his learning and development. Therefore, now it becomes more important to ensure that children who use technological devices have a correct use of these equipment.

13 year old girl using her smartphone – Photo: Getty Images

In fact, entities such as the Colombian Family Welfare Institute (ICBF), suggests that before the age of 9 children can access electronic devices without internet access, but with pre-loaded multimedia content so that they can begin to develop certain types of digital skills. This same institution recommends 13 years as an ideal age for parents to give away a device with Internet access, but even so, that device must have a very limited use of social networks.

Given this scenario, shares some tips to help introduce children to technology in a safe way, through the use of these smart devices:

Tips in the case of computers

Explain its components and functionalities

Although it seems like something they already know, it is essential to explain to children what a computer, a mouse, or a keyboard is. Also what is its usefulness and what it allows us to do, and basic measures for handling and caring for the material (for example, not hitting the screen or throwing water on it).

Additionally, It is recommended to explain what the letters on the keyboard mean and some other shortcut, always according to their ages. These processes must take place little by little, so that with the passage of time they can become familiar. You can also gradually explain to them what a program, an app, or software is, in order to help them become familiar with the terms so that they can remember them.

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Make use of language appropriate for their age and level of comprehension

It must be taken into account that this is a dialogue with children, therefore, it is essential to explain to them using technical terms, which can be disconcerting to a small child, while it can fascinate a teenager. The use of analogies and comparisons with elements that children know from their day to day is recommended. and gradually integrate the new knowledge.

learning times

Learning should be a positive experience, therefore parents should remain calmwhen the child does not understand something, this will help the first contacts with computers to be positive, allowing them to have some autonomy in their learning and, when they feel prepared and motivated, they can go a little further.

Young teenager on computer, child on computer, virtual classes, social networks.
Smiling teenage male chatting with friends on social media sitting in front of laptop – Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

experiment together

Independence in any learning is essential, much more in technological issues. For this reason, manufacturers such as ASUS recommend sharing with them, under a “reference” figure, downloading some programs, such as games, can become a playful experience in which the little ones develop their skills and intuitively learn to handle the components of the computer in the company of their parents.

Explain the risks

Another aspect to take into account is the need to explain to children not only the advantages of using new technologies, but also their risks, therefore, it is recommended to use strategies to prevent them, it is recommended to talk about the risks when connecting the equipment any electrical outlet, and in Internet browsing.

Points to consider in the case of cell phones

Evaluate if the child is ready and needs it

Children in many cases require access to a cell phone out of necessity. The child may be alone at certain times and require constant communication with their parents or other family members, or the device may be part of their educational process.

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Some of the recommendations from CommSense Media, a non-profit entity that works on technology and childhood issues, mention that it is important review the level of responsibility of the child, if he is aware of the value of thingsif you take care of your belongings, if you save to buy things that interest you.

daily dynamics

Their dynamics should be reviewed on a daily basis, they go to school alone, or attend activities after school in which they need to communicate with their parents; many times this can be a tool to more easily supervise what the child does.

Set clear rules and teach by example

Despite the maturity and responsibility that a child or adolescent may show, clear rules and conditions of use are necessary. This implies schedules or time limits on the connectionagreements about what you can or can’t do when browsing and conversations about the digital risks you are exposed to.

whatsapp language
Asian teenage boy sitting on stair at school, covering his face with hands, face down, holding smartphone in low light feeling frustrated, lonely, stressed and depressed. Cyber ​​bullying concept. – Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Smartphone manufacturers such as Realme have functions that can be used by parents to supervise their children, such as the ‘Children’s space’ configuration, which limits or prevents the use of applications that generate chargesalso restricts the consumption of mobile networks, modifications to the system and the download or removal of apps and allows you to choose which applications the child can use and how long they can use them.

Despite this, the example will always be one of the best guidelines for children to acquire proper habits of use of their mobile devices. For example, not using the phone during meals or while driving sets a precedent for the child on the appropriate use of this technology.

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