Training a child is one of the most difficult jobs you get to do on the face of the earth. The difficulty is sure to increase as the number of children increases. And then comes technology, very useful but also very harmful if placed in the wrong hands. Most likely, that of a kid.
While all kids tend to act in the same funny manner, most times you are able to group them into two categories:
The cool kids: They don’t give you much headache or heartache. Their ability to scatter the house or spoil things is limited. And when they grow, it’s easy to say what they are capable of and places they could be at a particular time.
The restless ones: Surely you have an idea already. You know the energetic proactive and hyperactive kind of kids. “Hey! Don’t touch that!” “Come back here” “Get down from there!” “Your dad will kill you when he gets back.” And no matter what you say or how you look at them, 3 – 5 minutes later you’re back where you started – yelling and shouting.
All you want for them is the best future, which has to begin while they are still young.
The Fear Of Tech
Every parent today will have to deal with the danger posed by (the wrong use of) technology to children. The misuse of electronic devices such as smartphones and video games can be dangerous. Parents are advised to set strict rule to regulate the use of electronic devices by kids. Most times this is done to increase reading and homework time which in turn would help improve academic grades and increase their interest in school and learning.
On the contrary
But an interesting study has revealed that depriving your kids of these devices so they can really focus on school activities does not give the expected results.
This was revealed in a study conducted by Eszter Hargittai, a communication scientist at the University of Zurich and her research collaborator, Drew Cingel. They conducted a survey which involved 1,100 first year students at a US university well known for the large socio-demographic diversity of their student body.
After gathering information from students about childhood rules and school activities, data was also gathered on academic grades.
The result showed that students whose parents set rules on the use of technology during childhood for well-intended reasons like maintaining focus on activities, such as home works, do not outperform their peers in college.
And it’s not only children who had difficulty in school. The study showed that the effect of these restrictions (on kids) were the same irrespective of the child’s scholastic aptitude.
A better way of regulating usage of technology
The manner and motive for setting rules on the use of technology during childhood played a key role. The study revealed that kids whose parents set rules or tried to enforce restrictions on the use of technology so their kids could get more exercise, avoid overstraining their eyes or twisting their sitting posture performed better in the long run.
According to Prof. Hargittai, parents who regulated the use of technology for health reasons were likely going to introduce other activities which would be beneficial for their kids in the long run.
Generally, when training children, “caging your kids” can always turn out dangerous.
Recent research has shown that certain games can improve a kids thinking ability and analytical skills. Prof. Hargittai advices that parents should not just ‘imprison’ kidsbut spend more time with their kids to show them the right way of using electronic devices.
It’s better to set rules, use these devices with them, be a good example and be upfront about the consequences of misusing them.