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Five great tips to help children use technology

Five great tips to help children use technology

The old notion that "it is easier to prevent than to treat" applies in particular to technology dependence.

Technological innovation has transformed the media and one's role in the lives of children and parents. More children are using newer digital technologies every day, and continue to be the target of intense marketing.

As parents, it can sometimes be frustrating to sit on the sidelines and constantly see new technology gaining a foothold in our children's upbringing. Last year, Janne Aalborg Reitevold wrote: “We need a discussion about children's mobile phone use. We need to put this on the agenda and discuss it out loud. We must guide our children into the technological everyday life in a safe way for both young and old.”

We at Xplora feel that this discussion has been taken seriously and more and more parents are aware of the dangers that come with giving young children access to smartphones. Developments and changes are inevitable, but there are some tips on how parents can influence the use of media in the ever-growing digital world.

1. Be a role model
You are older, so you should know better. If your son or daughter sees that you spend more time looking at your cell phone than talking to them, you have no right to confiscate their gadgets and force them to focus on their tasks. You need to be proven in what you do because your children will observe your habits as well. If you set a screen usage time rule, you must follow it as well.

2. Remind them when they spend too much time online
Keep track of how much your kids spend using their gadgets. Banning them completely is difficult these days, but it helps to remind them that reality is better than the virtual world.

3. Engage them in exercise and other physical activities
Having a healthy lifestyle means being physically active. Physically active children will receive a number of health benefits—many of which can be difficult to regain later in life. With a generally declining level of activity, it is important that parents help to give their children positive exercise habits. Take, as your starting point, activities that are on the children's terms and that give them the joy of movement.

4. Involve your child in making rules for screen use
If you see that your child has problems regulating screen use himself, you need to make more detailed and strict rules. But if your child manages this well, it is not necessary. We want children to do it themselves and it is, therefore, important that they have the opportunity to learn it as well. If we follow them up too closely and do not allow them the opportunity to fail, they will not learn it.

5. Encourage children to have a social life
Talk to your child about the importance of friendship. Discuss the differences between friendship and popularity and repeat to your child that the benefits of friendship are worth the effort. Reality is much better than the virtual world.
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