Technology is everywhere. If you go out to dinner, you will see a restaurant filled with people using technology. If you go on an airplane, almost everyone will have headphones connected to some device. Even at the playground, you will see people sitting on the “mom” benches playing with technology. Technology has engrossed our lives.
I am not saying technology is bad, nor am I saying it is good. Technology is amoral and similar to any tool; it can be either good or bad. Think of a hammer, a hammer can be used to build, or it can be used to destroy. The hammer can’t be good nor bad, but instead the usage is in the hands of the user.
While our children, live in our homes, we are in charge of teaching them right and wrong, and how one uses technology falls in that category. We can easily forbid using a computer or smart phone, but they are going to get their hands on it somewhere sooner or later. Like it or not, technology is here to stay for a long time, so let’s prepare our children to use it correctly.
The best start with your children is by letting them know what is acceptable and accessible. I recommend sitting down with your children and explain to them what exactly is acceptable to watch and play, and when is the best time for them to use it. Here are two great contracts (from http://www.parentministry.net) that you can use for your family. One is a technology contract, and the other is for video games. These are super easy to understand and a great place to be on the same page with your children.
The next step is to be smart and do your best to stay ahead of the curve. I am around pop culture every day, and I at times cannot keep up with the latest trends. Thankfully there are great resources out there to help you out in this subject. For example, if your child wants to watch a show or play a game that is foreign to you, consult my favorite media website, http://www.commonsensemedia.com. I have not been wronged by the website yet, and I have found their resources and reviews fair and helpful.
For an easy to implement guide, check out my previous post on technology.