Guest Post By Scott Reddler
Children are increasingly connecting to and interacting with technology in this digital era. In fact, the average kid accesses the online realm by the the tender age of three. Yes, three years old!
While your children should be encouraged to use the Internet — especially since Internet skills are part of basic literacy these days — you also need to be proactive in determining both how and when your little ones use technology.
Consider, for example, the likes of two tech visionaries who placed technology-use limits on their own children: Bill Gates did not permit his children to own smartphones until they reached 14 years old, and the late Steve Jobs did not allow his young kids to use iPads.
Kids are definitely using mobile devices and the Internet, but there are other ways they use technology while at home, two of which include smart technology and smart toys. Both of these categories of technology can provide benefits for your children. But you still need to be vigilant.
Smart Home Tech
You can keep a watchful eye on your little ones while they sleep with smart baby monitors. This can come in useful if you’re doing chores but want to be able to check in on your children from time to time. However, wireless technology emits radio frequency radiation that can boost brain activity and derail non-REM sleep. So avoid putting wireless devices near your children’s heads when they sleep.
Smart toys definitely up the ante as far as the benefits they offer to children. For instance, Ozobots can help your children to learn code. Regardless of what profession your child eventually pursues, coding skills will help since kids will develop problem solving abilities. Toys like Hello Barbie and CogniToys Dino will also benefit your children since they actually become smarter the more your children play with them. Something you need to keep in mind when it comes to smart toys, however, is that the wireless technology baked into them makes it possible not only for your children to connect to the world, but also for the world to connect with your kids. So be on your guard by reviewing the toy makers’ policies for storing and sharing data.
Again, smart home technology and smart toys offer many benefits, but you need to set guidelines and monitor how your children use them and when they’re used. It also makes sense to implement some screen-free time to help your children to untether from their smartphones, tablets, computers, and televisions. During these times, they can read, play outside, or do other productive things that will enable them to develop a more balanced lifestyle.
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