How Should Children’s Use of Technology Be Managed?

Today, the use of technological tools both facilitates our work in all areas of life and can bring us some difficulties by coming to the point of taking over our lives. How can we strike that balance between making our job easier and taking over our lives? More importantly, how can we manage this balance on children’s use of technology?

Especially in today’s conditions such as the pandemic, the extent of technology use exceeds the limit and becomes very problematic for children. The separation of children from social life and being away from physical activity reinforces this situation. So what should parents do to prevent this?

It is of great importance that the parent be a role model in child development, as in all aspects. In the child’s life, phone computer tablet etc. If you do not want the products to be in the first place, you as a parent should do this by showing him. It is not possible to expect anything different from a child in a family environment where parents are also immersed in technological devices. For example, when you come home from work, it is important to spend some time with your child by putting the phone aside, to create times when everyone at home stays away from the phone, computer, television, or to spend time together in places where you can socialize and do physical activity outside.

The use of technology cannot be completely prevented, but should be restricted as needed. There should be a time frame determined by the child’s age and free time left from school, and both parents should maintain the same approach to complying with this time frame. While setting such limitations, families may find it difficult at first, but they can achieve success if they take a stable and determined stance. The important point here is not to be stubborn with the child when setting limits, and to inform him about the requirements of this without the logic of prohibition. It may also be considered to find alternative activities for times when they will be away from technology.

One of the ways that makes it easier to impose restrictions is to have technological devices at home in common areas instead of being in private areas for the child’s use. For example, instead of keeping the computer in the room, it is an alternative to keep the computer in the living room, thus supporting controlled use. Phone, tablet etc. There is a time limit on some applications, these restrictions suitable for the age of the child can be used, so that he can control the time himself.

When setting limits on the child, his age, personality, areas where he uses technology the most, etc. should be taken into account. Does the child spend most of his time on social media, or does he play games, play online games, watch TV series / movies? All of these require different interventions. For example, it would not be very realistic to say “play for half an hour a day” while trying to set a limit to a child who plays online games and spends hours here. It will be more functional to reduce it and to determine a suitable time period with the child for the duration of the game he plays. Of course, with all these, both games and social media / TV series, movies, etc. Whether the content is suitable for the child’s age, the parent should check it, and if there is an inappropriate content, it should be intervened regardless of time limit. It is for topics that do not contain inappropriate content mentioned here.

It is very important to be in contact with the child in the use of technology, as in every other subject. Parents should have knowledge of the content they are exposed to in a way they watch/play. If there is a game that he plays constantly, the parent should also learn about that game. If there is a series that he watches constantly, the parent should watch it too. Moreover, it is important to chat with the child about these contents. Which character in the game does he like, why does he like it, what does he like to do with it, why does this game interest him, which character in this series / movie does he find close to him? With such questions, the child should be discussed about the content that he is interested in. Thus, both passive use of technology is prevented and information about the inner world of the child is obtained.

Things to consider by age

0-3 years:It should be as far from the screen as possible.

3-4 years old: Maximum 1 hour of screen time per day. During this period, the child should be talked about the content they are exposed to, and concrete and abstract concepts should be mentioned. It is important not to be a passive audience.

5-6 years old: He should not spend time alone with technological tools, the content of interest must be checked. Computer, tablet, etc. in the room. It should not be placed under control and limited use should be allowed in the common area.

7-8 years: It should be explained that not everything seen on the screen is real. If he is exposed to content that makes him uncomfortable, he should be encouraged to come and say it. Controlled and supervised use should be continued.

9-10 years: At this age, children can request their own phone, tablet, computer. In particular, the use of the phone should be postponed as much as possible, because the phone is always at hand means unlimited internet use and there is a risk of accessing harmful content.

11-12 years: At this age, children want to act more independently and it becomes more difficult to control and monitor their movements. Therefore, it is necessary to be taught to take responsibility. You can be informed about the harmful content of the internet and the problems it may experience due to its excessive use, explain why it should be limited, and create a common limitation area. It is important to establish correct communication with the child in this regard, as prohibitions will cause him to cross the border more.

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