There’s a lot of information out there on how technology, like social media, makes lives more difficult for teenagers. But what about younger children? They may not be using social media yet, but there’s no doubt smartphones, tablets, apps, digital assistants, and other technology can have a big impact on toddlers and young children — particularly their self-esteem.
We’ve already looked at how technology changes the way children pay attention and think. Now let’s switch gears to examine how technology influences what children think and feel about themselves. This quick guide looks at the pros and cons of technology on children’s self-esteem and what parents need to keep in mind.
Children and Technology: Impacts on Self-Esteem
How does technology change affect a child’s self-esteem?
- One of the ways children build self-esteem is by learning and trying new things. The more they succeed, the more confidence they have to try more things and the better they view themselves. Technology gives children new ways to succeed. It supplies powerful educational tools and the tasks to test your child’s acumen in different skills.
- Some of the great quality app content for kids shows the accomplishments of others in a way that inspires children to try new things and do their best. This kind of content focuses on the cool things adults and children are achieving, the difficulties that get in their way, and how these people dig deep to overcome those obstacles. These types of videos are what we include in Jellies.
- Unfortunately, the most popular content in other kids apps teaches children to value external measures of self-worth. Child celebrity videos, for example, position children as stars who act out for the camera and beg for subscribers or likes. Watch too much and children may start ascribing their own self-worth to how much of a following they have online or in apps.
- Excessive technology use can get in the way of establishing strong relationships with parents, siblings, and friends. These loving and secure relationships are integral to building a child’s self-esteem.
What Parents Need to Know About Children and Technology
It turns out that a lot of the impact technology has on your child’s self-esteem depends on the type of content they’re engaging with in apps and online. Technology as a whole gives your child more opportunities and techniques to learn and try new things that can help them develop confidence and self-worth. Low-quality and inappropriate content found in many popular kids apps, however, can have a far more detrimental impact.
To reduce this impact, set boundaries to make sure your child’s self-esteem isn’t harmed by their technology use. Make sure they’re only seeing the best quality kids content. That content focuses on demonstrating healthy interactions and relationships with others and inspires children to envision all the cool things they’re capable of accomplishing. Also, consider setting a time limit on your child’s screen use. This makes sure your child is building their self-confidence and esteem in other ways — especially by interacting with you and playing with friends.
Head on over to the Jellies blog for more resources about children and technology. We tackle popular tech parenting topics like The Trouble With Kids Video Apps and your Child’s Screen Time: Everything You Need to Know.