Technology has become so ingrained in our society that even children are frequently seen  with some gadget in hand. It’s becoming increasingly rare to see children playing outside instead of interacting with some sort of technology. But is it healthy for children to get engrossed with this tech at such a young age?

On the one hand, technology has made lives easier and more convenient. On the other, studies show that technology has both harmful and beneficial effects on how children’s brains develop. Specifically, technology does not only affect how their mind functions on the surface. Since a child’s brain is still in its development stage, excessive use of technology changes how their brain functions. This is in comparison to the previous generation.

How technology affects children

Technology now has the most significant influence on how most children think. It has even affected children’s attention and their ability to focus. Psychology Today says that technology conditions the brain to pay close attention to information. It’s a different approach compared to reading.

When people read, they tend to submerge themselves in a quiet setting. People prefer to read in areas with very few distractions. Meanwhile, when people use technology, they could be surrounded by various distractions, making it difficult for users to focus on a single subject.

But technology isn’t all that bad. Research shows that playing screen media helps increase reaction times and attentional ability. It also helps improve a person’s visual-spatial capabilities. In addition, it also enhances their ability to find details amidst all the clutter. At the same time, they develop more skills at remembering where they can find the information. But how can you raise your children to take advantage of the benefits of technology, while avoiding some of its pitfalls?

Managing the digital landscape for your child

Family looking at tablet

In a world where technology is solidly a norm, parents play a crucial role in teaching their children how to balance digital use and holistic growth. So, to help you and your children achieve a more balanced lifestyle, you need to create a plan that will determine how your family uses technology. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that you need to ensure that your tech works for you, and not the other way around. One way to do this is by setting a schedule where you can still have a family-time and outdoor play occasionally.

You should also teach kids the value of face-to-face communication. Let your children engage in creative talk time. Doing so will help them with their language development. Research shows that back-and-forth conversation helps develop their language skills. It’s an even more effective approach compared to one-way interaction with their gadgets.

Also, encourage playtime as much as you can. There are other activities that they can do besides spending time with their gadgets. Convert your backyard into a little playground where they can spend their time. You can get a few outdoor storage units made of plastic so they can store all their toys inside.

There is nothing wrong with using media and digital devices as long as you’re there to guide them. Expect that there will be times that they will commit mistakes. When that happens, it’s best to handle these errors with empathy. It would even be better if you turn their mistakes into a teachable moment, too.