21 Sep Kids and Tech: Smart Homes, Smart Toys (Infographic)
Guest Author Post: Scott Reddler has provided this content, along with as awesome info. graphic at the bottom that so clearly shows how digital our kids’ world has become. Scott can be reached via Twitter @Scottreddler
Children interact with technology on a daily basis, and the average child starts to surf the internet by the age of three years old. Whether glued to the TV screen while playing video games on their consoles, seated on the sofa while watching YouTube videos, or reclining on their beds while chatting on smartphones, children are immersed in technology.
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How Kids Use Technology at Home
Parents need to be mindful of how and when their children use technology, especially since technology that accesses the Internet not only connects their children to the world, but also the world to their children. And what this means is that parents must be vigilant in researching the privacy policies of the manufacturers of any smart home or smart toy products they purchase.
It’s important for parents to realize that the world they grew up in is definitely not the world their children are growing up in. From the World Wide Web, to mobile devices, to smart tech, children in this digital age are living at a technologically advanced time and therefore face certain potential problems — among them predators cloaked in the anonymity of the web — that their parents didn’t.
Smart Home Example
Examples of how tech happens in smart homes are smart baby monitors. Parents can use these wireless-enabled devices to keep an eye on their little ones from a another location in the home. However, radio frequency radiation that is emitted by wireless tech can boost brain activity and get in the way of non-REM sleep. So, parents should keep these devices away from their children’s heads at night.
Smart Toy Example
Toys like Hello Barbie and CogniToys Dino are definitely smart toys since they actually get smarter and smarter the more children play with them. So, playtime can become a more engaging and rewarding experience for children.
Ways to Parent Well in Smart Homes
One way for parents to parent well in a smart home is for them to implement some screen-free time. Used in moderation, technology can bring great benefits, but children should not be spending too much of their time staring at a screen. Even if it involves actually taking away their children’s mobile devices at times, parents must get their kids to untether from tech from time to time. They cannot be ful
Parents could learn a thing or two from the likes of Bill Gates, who refused to give his children smartphones until they were 14, and the late Steve Jobs, who did not allow his young children to use iPads. These two tech leaders demonstrated that parents should not permit their children to access technology before their children are old enough to do so responsibly.
It would be a good idea for parents to keep their children from using technology at night – that means no smartphones, tablets, or computers when it’s bedtime. Many children lack the discipline to hit the off button on tech and to get some sleep, so parents need to step in and ensure that they do get a good night’s rest (Protect Young Eyes identifies bedrooms as one of the four most dangerous places for kids to use technology).
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