Technology: Good or Evil and what can you do ?

Our children are being born in to a world which is, technologically at least, completely different to what we knew as children, even as teenagers and whilst technology can bring with it an array of solutions to help make our everyday lives easier, the impact this exposure has on our children needs to be considered carefully.

Smartphones are now the norm and which of us hasn't used a smartphone game, app or streaming service to keep a child entertained in a waiting room, at the restaurant or on the plane.

Many toddlers of 2-3 years old are even able to navigate around on smartphones and tablets to access these apps, games and cartoons for themselves!! (KidooLand do NOT recommend this before 4 years old - please see our guidelines in our Boost Your English course.)

As parents, it is for us to consider the longterm impact of technology use on our children. Even experts can't agree on the longterm impact of technology usage on children or what a good 'family technology policy' might look like with conflicting reports appearing frequently in the media.

Each family is different and so parents need to reflect on their individual situations in order to find a solution that works for their entire family. The key perhaps is in the fact that for any such policy to work, it must work for the entire family - children's views should be considered and their opinion sourced. By being included in the creation of a family technology policy, they will be more likely to help ensure it's success.

Here are a few ideas of things families could consider when thinking about their own technologu policy:

1.) How many devices does your household actually own?

You may be surprised by the sheer number of devices that your family possesses. A smartphone each? how many laptops? how many games consoles? don't forget portable games consoles, kindles too! Any smart TVs in the house that you can use to access the internet?? Include in this list any professional laptops and telephones that get brought home too.

2.) Have a family meeting to discuss your family's use of technology & ask if anyone has any thoughts about technology and screen time.

Schools often run awareness programmes so your children may have some great ideas about this already!

Children may also have some opinions about parental technology usage at home

- are you guilty of taking work calls at home?

checking work emails??

Do children prioritise screentime before homework and chores?

How much screentime does each family member want ideally? Why? When?

Also note at this point any professional or academic obligations which could impact a tech