Technology plays a role in our children’s lives now more than ever. While there’s not a lot known about the long-term effects of technology on young children, parenting advocates and researchers are starting to notice some changes in the way children think, feel, and interact with others in the tech age.
It’s unsettling to think of technology fundamentally transforming our children. That said, not all of the changes are bad, and there’s a lot parents can do to limit the impact technology has on their families. To help you navigate the complexities of parenting with smartphones, tablets and other devices, we dive into the key things parents should know about technology and their children.
Screen Time Can Boost or Hurt Your Child's Self-Esteem
The quality of your child’s screen time can impact their self-esteem. App content that provides opportunities to learn and try new things can help improve your child’s confidence and self-worth. This beneficial app content often demonstrates healthy interactions with the world and safe, supportive relationships. We know how important it is to make the most of your child’s screen time. That’s why we go to great lengths to make sure the Jellies app is full of high-quality, educational videos.
On the flip side, content that focuses on child celebrity status, toy play and unboxing videos, and inappropriate social behaviors can have a detrimental effect on your child’s self-esteem. Check out What Does Technology Mean for Your Child’s Self-Esteem? to learn more.
Technology is Teaching Children to Think in New Ways
With technology, children have access to almost everything they want to know with a few taps or clicks. Because of this, research skills are becoming far more important to children than memorization. Instead of refining their ability to recall large amounts of info, tech is encouraging children to learn how to sort through distraction and an abundance of information to find valuable data.
This new prioritization in cognitive skills might lead the way to better critical thinking skills and stronger problem-solving abilities in children. Learn more in How Technology Changes the Way Children Pay Attention and Think.
How Your Child Uses Technology Impacts Their Emotional Development
Is your child a Grumpy Gus? His (or her) technology habits may be to blame. Families who use smartphones, tablets, or other types of technology to soothe disruptive, bored, or upset children may find their children developing unhealthy attachments to that tech. By diverting your child’s attention to a device, you’re not giving your child an opportunity to learn self-regulation or process difficult emotions.
We go into more of the benefits and downsides of technology on children’s emotional development in Technology and Your Child’s Emotions.
Too Much Tech Can Be Bad for Your Child's Physical Health (But Not Always)
Will too much technology make my child obese? Like a lot of these concerns, that depends on the type of content your child is interacting with during their screen time. Some content, like the active videos in Jellies, encourages children to get up and move, try new activities, and even get involved in sports.
Most tech time, however, is spent on the couch, in bed, or in an otherwise sedentary position. It’s up to parents to make sure children are interacting with top quality tech content and striking a healthy balance between tech time and active playtime. Get more info on technology and your child’s physical development in Will Technology Make My Child Obese? (And Other Physical Development Concerns).
Want to Learn More?
Every week we publish a new resource for parents on the Jellies blog. From mastering your child’s screen time to knowing what and when to post about your family on social media, there’s plenty of information for the tech-minded parent. Please reach out to us on Twitter or Facebook or send us a message if there’s any tech-related concerns or questions you’d like us to research and answer.