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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Technology on vacation: friend or foe in children’s development?

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Throughout life, and even more so at times such as vacations, when young people have more free and leisure time, there are various uses of technology for which the little ones will have contact with digital devices: video games ; training; videos; exploration; study; research; connection with other cultures, among others.

Likewise, real risks can also be found when contact with electronic devices flourishes. “Addictive behaviors; self-absorption; difficulties in some social habits; prolonged times at the expense of other activities; exposure to social media that can lead to potentially risky interactions; development of a parallel personality or other issues related to privacy”, listed Gabriel Rshaid, director of The Global School, an institution located in Pablo Nogués, Buenos Aires district of Malvinas Argentinas.

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And the usage time limits?

Although there are frequently cited studies regarding the possible harmful effects of the use of technology by children, none of them reach significant conclusions, much less allow the maximum time of use to be delimited by age, as is frequently attempted to point out, seeking simple recipes or solutions for a subject that is very complex.

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The specialists clearly point out that the problem is not so much the use of technology itself but the time that is subtracted from other types of interactions that promote healthy development. If the use of electronic devices makes children spend less time playing outdoors, moving around, socializing with other children, getting in touch with nature, playing games that stimulate and develop their imagination, undoubtedly the appeal of video games or other technological applications can be extremely detrimental to their growth.

It must also be distinguished whether the use is active or passive. Passive use means spending hours on social networks; surf the internet, watch series or movies online, play games or similar issues that lead to a sedentary lifestyle. In moderation, none of the above distractions are harmful. On the other hand, active use includes watching video tutorials to learn something new, creating digital music, editing photos and videos, creating animations, or any use related to acquiring new knowledge or involving physical movement.

Paradoxically, the problems are more focused on adults than children, and the literature also indicates how, perhaps, the greatest risk lies in neglecting the parental connection with children when it is adults who end up self-absorbed and investing too much time in the use of technology. Within this framework, the director of The Global School, Gabriel Rshaid, summarized some of the principles that support the healthiest possible use of technology.

  • Connecting with children before technology is essential.
  • Don’t use technology as a peacemaker/emotional channel.
  • Use technological channels conscientiously and understand the uses that can be given to them, prior to exposure.
  • Explicitly warn about their risks.
  • Clearly understand appropriate and inappropriate behaviors.
  • Set good examples to the youth regarding usage.
  • Do not spy on children, provide adequate space.
  • Using technology as a family.
  • Security yes, fear no. If we learn to use it correctly, it can be a great tool in raising our children.
  • The use of screens is not recommended, at least half an hour before bedtime.
  • The games can be beneficial to acquire knowledge or stimulate the boys.
  • New technologies can connect them with civic life.
  • It is important to create a balance between autonomy and accompaniment.
  • Also, keep learning and don’t fear. The positive look applies to everything in life.
  • Safety when it comes to including technology in parenting is also about being present as adults.

Source: Ambito

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