There is no escape, and the solution is guidance and rationalization.. How do we teach children to use technology safely?

Children’s relationship with the Internet and electronic devices begins at an early age, and data issued by the National Observatory of Technology and Society in Spain confirm that 98% of those between the ages of 10 and 15 in the country visit the virtual world frequently, while 9 out of every 10 minors (90 %) among 13-year-olds using a mobile phone, and this percentage rises to 96% for 15-year-olds.

Based on these data, the Spanish newspaper "El Mundo" stresses the importance of knowing how to adapt to digital development and directing our children towards the safe use of these technologies. Initially, the following instructions should be adapted to the principles and lifestyle of each family, with parents keen to set a good example for children.

Safe use

During the first 18 months of his life, the only child's interaction with electronic devices should be limited to video calls with family and friends, as it enhances his communication skills.

Although we can allow the child to be exposed to screens for a few minutes a day until he is two years old, some experts recommend that he stay away from them until that age. On the other hand, he can play realistic games that benefit him at the level of mental development.

The newspaper recommends continuing to give preference to alternatives that can replace technological devices such as reading and realistic games, and if there is a need to use technology, it must be a safe use, and be reduced to less than an hour a day.

In parallel with teaching children how to use technology, we must maintain continuous communication with them (Getty Images)

no escape

"Given the rapid spread of technology, it is inevitable that children will be exposed to phones everywhere," says Kathryn Perlman , author of "The First Phone" and certified social worker. Until your child is ready to use a smartphone, it is preferable not to deprive him of other options for communication and communication safely, so that devices can be used. Wi-Fi-connected tablets or digital watches, such as the Apple Watch, for texting and playing games with friends.

In turn, expert Marni Rebelo advises monitoring the child's mood and behavior and whether the phone affects him mentally or emotionally, and if major changes appear in his usual conditions, this is an indication of a possible negative impact of using the phone and the Internet.

It also recommends monitoring what the child watches, plays, and is exposed to on his phone, including texts, pictures, advertisements, and applications, and believes that the child’s phone should be limited to the basic features that he needs according to his age, and that these features be developed and enriched by adding other features as he gets older.

Marni Rebelo also directed parents to set specific times for using the phone or technological means in general, and to use the control tools that technology companies usually provide to parents in order to ration children's use of their products and keep dangers away from them.

Your child's phone should be set up to be limited to the features he needs (Pixels).

Selection of information and its sources

Cyberspace can be a valuable source of information, but it is also an ideal environment for the spread of misinformation and misinformation, which is why it is best to offer children valid options that guarantee a minimum level of accuracy, in addition to those that they should exclude in advance because they are not reliable.

In parallel with teaching children how to use technology, we must maintain continuity of communication with them, and it is very important to create an environment in which trust prevails so that they do not hesitate to ask for help if they need it.

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