It’s safe to say that technology has had a huge impact on children. Whether it’s a toddler watching their favourite cartoons on the family iPad or a preteen spending too much time on YouTube, it’s far more common to find a child in front of some kind of screen. This generation has grown up like no other, and it’s fascinating to think of how technology can shape their lives in the future. What challenges is the modern day family facing?
Healthy Screen Time
Families have all sort of concerns they wouldn’t have to had to think about a few decades ago – lots of which revolve around how much their children use technology. There’s screen time, cyber bullying and the worry of what exactly are they watching? A psychologist who specialises in the concept of “digital nutrition” compared a child’s screen time to healthy eating. You should be focused on the quality of the food rather than the quantity of it, and the same line of thinking goes towards screen time. The psychologist went on to explain the importance of technology in the family home, and not to lean on it too much when it comes to dealing with temper tantrums, as this could potentially establish bad habits later in life.
Children playing video games is not exactly new technology. The first commercially successful video game was Pong, released in 1972. However, things have changed somewhat since the days of Pong. Now there’s a whole world of gaming online, which children can access from their games console. There is a risk of them being exposed to graphic game content, and the gamers themselves who are older and more explicit. Not to mention watching online play-throughs. The violence in video games has been a long-term concern for families. It is up to the parents to make sure their children are playing safely.
An increase in technology doesn’t necessarily mean children are constantly stuck staring at their screens. New technology can have impact outside the home, too. For example, with the use of Fitbits children can count their steps and be encouraged to get out and about, developing good habits early. Plus traditional playtime can change, too. Electric scooters are becoming increasingly popular with families and it isn’t hard to understand why. They’re fun for all ages, and there’s one to suit any level of skill and experience. Thankfully, technology doesn’t mean the end of outdoor play.