Many of our readers are blessed with kids. And it’s not a secret for caring parents that nowadays children have nearly unlimited access to computers (if they allow them to use those at all). It would be incorrect to assert that computers are absolutely harmful or useful for children. The usage of computers by the children is very controversial. We can talk about good and bad sides of computers till the end of time as their list is really endless.
Please make no mistake about the simplicity of the given topic. In fact it’s much deeper than it seems. Actually, this post is more for parents than for their offsprings. Thus, if you, the reader of this post, are an underage, we advise you to show the entry to your parents as there is a lot of information and awesome tips which may help you improve understanding with them here.
Believe me, being a happy father of the boy in his teens, I’ve studied the matter carefully and is ready to share some thoughts with other parents. I hope the topic will stir different emotions in your hearts and you will drop me a line in the comment section.
But let’s come back to what we were talking about. As I have already mentioned above, my beloved son is an average teenager with all his friends, girls and little secrets, so he has a personal computer of his own which helps him to save his precious privacy.
I must confess that I have faced some of the issues from the list below myself. The problem is that my son spends a hell lot of time in front of his PC and I often ask him to turn it off and to do something else. Do you think my yells help to tear him off the armchair? The answer is “No!” Familiar situation?
I arrived at the conclusion that that it’s not always the right thing to say because your kid may be busy having fun with his friends sitting at home while the weather is too bad to go outside. Then I decided to find out whether computers are so bad for kids’ health or is it just a myth.
Below you will see two lists of pros and cons that helped me to clarify the matter. Hoping they will be useful to you either.
Let’s start with the advantages of letting kids use computers as long as they wish.
As I said before, the weather can be too bad to have fun outside and Internet made it possible to hang out with friends without even meeting them in real life. The programs like Skype are great for the purpose. Social media also helps to keep in touch and share various content with your friends and relatives that are far away at the moment.
If your kids are small (not older than 8 years), you can offer them to use different programs which train their memory (memory games), their thinking (puzzle games), increase their vocabulary (different educative games for children) and even teach foreign languages. By the way, did you know that colorful action and adventure games do not harm your kid’s eyesight as believed? Scientists have proved that. However, games with rough graphics (like old ones, Tetris etc.) still do.
What’s more, games make your children more erudite, improve their reaction, shooters can develop their tactical thinking (not too violent ones with blood rains and terrifying monsters, they are not really useful, and can be even dangerous for the immature minds).
Check out these ones and make sure that learning can be fun:
If your child is bored, just let them play video games or watch a movie/cartoon, but make sure to filter the content for your kid. Also, encourage your kid to reveal some creativity! Talking about creativity, computers give children the opportunities to show up themselves in making something (games, pictures, even music). Just try to offer your kid to create a game of their own! They will be enraptured! I know that sounds stunning, but it isn’t really that hard. Together you will cope by all means. Want an example? Visit Challenge You’s website, here children can create their own games and play someone else’s games as well.
You can’t just ignore the new inventions and there is no need to do that if you limit the information your kid can access. Time spent in front of the computer or a mobile device replaces the time spent in front of the TV-set. And using computers is way better than watching TV. Computers and mobile devices require interaction and even creativity. They can be used for multiple purposes, not only to watch advertisements like we do on TV. You can watch any program, film or stream online without any advertisements at all.
Children often have homework that requires using a computer (writing essays, reading books, making presentations, etc.). It’s always easier to type loads of text and use drawing software than write and draw everything by hand. Besides, the work looks much more impressive when done with the help of current methods and advanced technologies. By telling additional information on the lessons, your kid has a good chance to get extra good marks, which is rather pleasant and stimulating.
Unfortunately, every technical progress has its flip side. Read on and get to know the possible perils of kid – computer interaction.
Let’s move to the disadvantages of letting kids use computers as long as they wish.
Sitting for hours in front of the computer screen can cause poor eyesight and problems with spine. So, you should limit it and take care of the proper kid’s body position. Be inventive; make bargains with your kid. Exchange household chores or sport activities for additional screen time. This will simplify your life and make your child more industrious (this way they will understand that hard work is always rewarded). In addition, your child won’t forget to work out regularly.
According to statistical data kids aged from 8 to 18 spend on average 44.5 hours per week in front of computer screens. Nearly 23% of youth report that they feel “addicted to video games” (31% of males, 13% of females.) Don’t you think that these numbers are scaring?
But don’t worry; this can be easily controlled by family filters. One more recommendation: if you have several computers, you should place them in one room (not in the bedroom). That eases the supervision a lot. But be cautious, you should not be spying on your kid and tracking every of their step online. If you suspect them of doing something “prohibited”, just talk to them and explain in a friendly manner why you are worried. You can also use one of the monitoring programs available on the web (like k9webprotection), but this can ruin your confidential relationship with your kid (seriously, put some thought into this: how would you feel if you were followed and watched all the time?)
So, you’d better choose the games for your kid yourself. Let your small children play adventure games based on their favorite cartoons and they’ll enjoy them. If your kids entered their teens there is no much need to filter the games for them as they are already conscious about what’s real and what’s not, what’s good and what’s bad, if you invested many efforts into bringing them up.
If children already use social networks, they should know how privacy settings work. They should not give anyone their personal information like phone number or address. Social networks are full of perverts, so your children should be aware of that. They should not contact with strangers and satisfy their dirty requests. I guess many parents will agree with my standpoint. The best use of social networks for kids is getting into contact with their friends, because they can’t be together all the time.
The moral is: you can’t just prohibit your kid to use the computer as we live at the age of high technologies when all of their peers have access to computers, mobile devices and internet. But, please, beware of everything written herein above. Decide yourself when your kid is ready to get acquainted with the computer. Show your children that computers are good not only for playing games, but also for education and creation. If you are a web developer, you can try to involve your kid into the process of website design. Children’s minds are very flexible and we are sure that you will be surprised how quickly they remember and process information and how uncommon their solutions can be.