Parents are right to be concerned about the effect on their young children from early exposure to technology. But, as with all things, the intention behind the usage and the type of usage is what decides if it is beneficial or merely a useful distraction.
Technology usage by children must be used as a tool. It must not be allowed to dominate the maximum playtime of the child. Their time must be managed to ensure that they have adequate time for imaginative play and using colouring books for kids. These are time-honored ways to help children develop their cognitive abilities, which involve more active participation than technology can offer.
Therefore, while it can be beneficial, always remember that it is merely a tool like any other learning toy you would give your child. Learning the right way to use it will make a difference between it being a positive or a negative influence in your child’s life.
Know the Difference: Passive Usage
Passive technology usage occurs when the child consumes content by watching videos on a handheld device or a computer.
In passive usage, the child is not engaged and is simply receiving content. It is not a purpose-driven form of learning and will not benefit the child’s cognitive development. Parents should co-watch videos with the child to ask questions and suggest ideas to make the experience more beneficial.
Know the Difference: Active Usage
Active technology usage requires the child to engage with the device or computer to drive the story or activity forward.
Active usage engages the child’s imagination and is designed to initiate cognitive thought and create meaningful experiences. This can be when children use technology to keep in touch with relatives via video call or play games designed with developmental goals in mind.
An Aid to Language Learning
Small children are capable of learning multiple languages at a first language speaker level. This ability fades as they grow older. Many apps use storytelling and gameplay to teach children languages.
This is to be encouraged as being multilingual is associated with high intelligence and better learning capabilities in school.
Developing Social Skills
Children are not yet fully able to differentiate between the online medium and real life. If they use technology to stay in touch with relatives and use it for structured learning, they will likely gain many social benefits from it.
This means that they can learn valuable social skills that will serve them well in the outside world by interacting with people and games on their devices. The more socially engaged a child is, the easier it is for them to collaborate and make friends with their peers.
Expanding Their Skills
Educators are developing interactive games that are learning tools for children to develop their natural musical ability. Children love music and are naturally drawn to it. Encouraging this interest can have lasting beneficial effects on their lives.
Musical children are more disciplined and imaginative. They absorb soft skills such as responsibility, communication, and teamwork early. These soft skills will serve them well at school, in extracurricular activities, and eventually in the workplace.
Used correctly, technology can also allow your children to have fun. It is important for their healthy cognitive, mental, and physical development that they enjoy their days. Children learn best when they are happy.
Because of the demands of our fast-paced digital world, it can be hard to find time to have meaningful interactions with your children. Using a handheld device or a laptop to play a game with your child or co-watch a video is a simple way to connect with them and join them in having fun. Bonding in this manner will give both you and your child contentment and joy.