Friday, May 13, 2016

Addicted to Technology? - a mind wrap

Good day to you!  Today I want to talk about technology addiction. Yes, it does exist and I may be a candidate so I had better listen up...

Unwrapping some helpful suggestions...

Here are some ways to use technology in a healthy, productive, and responsible way.... 

* Declare Tech-Free Zones and Times: Having a smart phone, tablet or eyes on the computer 24/7 is not a healthy lifestyle.  Parents should designate times when those should be turned off, such as dinnertime (to allow conversation and engagement with family members) and perhaps after 9:00 at night depending on the age of the child.  Each family should decide what is best and works for them, but free zones are much encouraged. (for parents too!)

* Check ratings:  When your child is on any type of screen always make sure they are plugged into age-appropriate , high quality media for not only learning but for his /her entertainment as well.  Be aware of what your child is tuned into and adjust it accordingly.

* Wise use of technology:   Technology can be used to form deeper relationships and allow for creativity, exploration and research.  As guardians we must encourage kids to be creative, responsible consumers, and not just passive users of what is served up to them on their devices. 

* Talk about it:  Sit down with your child either while they are engaged or afterwards and have a conversation about what they are seeing, hearing or playing.  It gives incredible opportunities for teachable moments to share feelings and thoughts about the content  they are witnessing and absorbing.  Always encourage your kids to question and not just assume everything they see on the internet is true.  Be sure you are available to give answers and guide them as they surf the web. 

* Help kids understand the effects of multitasking:  Insist that your kids focus on their homework or other lessons or events that they are involved in.  These should have minimal distractions as the mind is then focused on one task at a time and learning will be of a much higher quality.  Homework time should be slated as a Free Zone time and the technology a reward for completion of the tasks.

* Walk the walk:  Lead by example.  The perfect role-model!  Put your phone down while you are driving, at mealtimes and family times and engage in real-time conversations.  Kids are losing the ability to share face to face and only share on Facebook.  It is very important to do so.

* Seek expert help if needed:  If you observe your child displaying significant negative issues please consult a paediatrician, psychologist, social worker, past, or other professional for advice.  Any behaviour that harms their mental health, disrupts their relationships or hurts their academic performance certainly needs to be looked into and taken care of.  

Being unplugged can be a very good thing!   (I hope I was listening!

Unwrapping some fun and wisdom...

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Read on and read always!

It's a wrap.
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