We can’t argue with the fact that these days there are more issues with controlling what our children see. When our children go online, they could very well be exposing themselves to so many different and scary things that we could easily refuse to get our children a computer. But when our children are begging for a computer, or they are looking for the latest gadgets it’s natural to be a bit hesitant. But you’re not alone. It’s important to remember a few different factors as to why you could or you couldn’t give your children a computer.
The Access To Learning Materials
Being a parent at home means that you have the ability to control what your children see. If your children are under the age of 10 it’s easier to limit screen time, but you have to remember that although they could very well access addictive video games it can still be a very useful resource. When we give our children a computer it allows them to access a lot of resources, meaning that we don’t need to take them to the library.
Is The Expense Throwing You Off?
Sure a computer can be a big problem, as well as being very expensive, but we must remember that with any computer there are various problems. Whether you have concerns with your macOS Catalina freezing or you have been trying to get a computer cheaply, if your children start to use it for learning materials it’s important to get a good quality computer. You could easily get a refurbished computer for cheap and it can be the perfect tool for your children to develop their learning capabilities.
Ensuring That You Teach Your Children Proper Internet Skills
We can worry that our children are accessing the deep dark corners of the internet but we are responsible for teaching our children online etiquette. It’s similar to when we teach our children to cross the road. As long as they have some common sense they will be able to judge situations better. The same thing applies when you teach your children how to go online. You need to teach your children about the potential dangers of accessing unsafe websites or social media threats as well as downloading unfamiliar files. There are plenty of resources out there for us to make the most of.
The Importance Of Limiting Screen Time
If you decide to get your children a computer, you must think about the importance of limiting screen time. Because a computer is there to help your children with school work and a little downtime, it is vital to make sure that the balance is tipped firmly in favour of the former. Luckily these days, there are numerous tools that can help you to minimise screen time. It’s not a case of giving them a time limit before turning off the computer. And it is partly to do with the type of parent that you are. If they could push for an extra 10 minutes they will. It’s far better for you to set the example straight away and if they don’t get everything done within a specific amount of time, then they will have learnt their lesson. This can seem overly harsh at the outset, but if your goal is to make sure your children are surfing safely online you must limit their screen time.
Using The Internet Together
Teaching your children the proper internet skills is crucial but you also can start to do things together. If you have one communal computer, this can give you the opportunity to learn things together. While these days many children have their own tablets, if you don’t have the money to purchase a tablet, and there is a family computer this will be a better option especially in terms of giving your children access to the internet with you supervising. Teaching your children the importance of surfing the internet safely is one thing, but when you start using the internet together, there are things that you need to both be aware of. It’s important for you to know things like phishing scams but also remember how to set the example. Online etiquette is what you should preach as well as practice.
Helping Your Children Make The Most Of Communication Tools
While we can talk about the negative effects of going online one of the great things about using the internet is that if you’ve got relatives far away you’re able to use communication tools like Skype to get in touch with long lost family members. This is something that can help reframe the idea of the internet as something positive for your child. Because we can view the internet as a rabbit hole of questionable content this is when we can start to change the perspective of what we can do with it. Again, it’s down to the etiquette but it’s also ensuring that you are supervising. With tools like FaceTime, getting in contact with relatives has never been easier and if you can focus on using the internet in this way for productive downtime rather than randomly surfing the web or playing games, after a while your children will begin to see that the internet is more than just a recreational tool.
The Impacts Of Overuse On Your Child’s Health
Whether we use the internet for good or not we still have to remember the impacts of overuse. When our children use a computer constantly, they may very well ask for a device to take into their room but this means that we’ve got to put your foot down. If our children are under the age of 10, perhaps their friends have tablets, but if you don’t want them to have a device like this, especially before bedtime, you’ve got to lay down the law. If you want your child to get the benefit of the internet it’s far better to use it in short concentrated bursts. Using the internet too much, especially at night, can have an impact on our children’s ability to sleep. And it’s not just our children that will be feeling this but if we do this as well we will find we don’t get good quality sleep. As our children can easily get addicted to the internet just as much as we can this is where we have to start learning the best ways to minimise screen time. It’s not just about limiting our children’s screen time but we have to limit ourselves as well. As our children start to view the internet as a way to play games and idly talk with their friends on social media this is when we have to remember the importance of good habits at the outset.
If your children have been bugging you to get a computer it’s important to know the pros and cons. As the internet can take us down a rabbit hole of questionable content, this could very well easily throw us off. But we have to remember that there are so many great things about going online. In fact, it’s crucial for so many children to develop their education in this way. It’s entirely your call. The internet can be a force for good but it’s so easy for us to look at the internet in terms of the negative things. But it’s important to remember that despite all of his negative things we probably use the internet more than our children do. If we really want our children to go online safely we must practice what we preach.