Today, when over 90% of kids own or have access to gadgets, the dispute about their benefits or harm is at the top of many parents' agenda. The most authoritative opinion leaders differ in their positions. Some welcome such devices like manna from heaven and predict an unprecedented intellectual development for children. Others argue furiously about the risks of moral degradation.
What can parents do about all of this? How to understand what gadgets are for our children - good or evil? Firstly, we should not make categorical statements or generalize. Let's start with the fact that now there are many different types of electronic devices popular among children. Below, we consider pros and cons of each gadget category separately.
This is the most common type of gadget - smartphones, tablets, iPod touch device type and other similar. With the development of modern technologies boundaries between them become blurred increasingly. So that they are functionally similar.
You can control your kids' location or call them to confirm their whereabouts. It also contains GPS tracking. You can even read text messages to make sure nothing inappropriate is going on.
It is helpful for learning. Sometimes a lot of accurate data could be found online. They can also take a lot of free Internet courses. Tablet could also help in socialization - with many apps that young people use, such as Facebook or other social networks.
EPA advises limiting your kids time with a tablet in front of their faces. And remember that children with such kind of activity may be more susceptible to weight gain.
You should make limits on Internet use, and employ security and privacy features for your kids' protection.
Kids' activity on the Internet sometimes could lead to serious, and often criminal, consequences. Remember about the cyber dangers of bullying, illegal texting and downloading.
Most of the kids are likely using their electronics to play apps or watch videos - only for fun.
2. Smart watches and smart - trackers
Includes watches, wristbands, charms and whatever you could imagine. Watches intended mostly for children from about 8 to 10 years. Parents can turn it to their phone base and set restrictions to enable unauthorized numbers for child could not take. The gadget can track the movement of the young user via GPS and send the coordinates to a special mobile application installed on parent’s smartphone. In the same program, a message appears if the child has ceased to move or filed SOS signal - for the latter provided a special button.
For other trackers main function - to transfer data about the child's location.
Pros: In many ways, wearable gadgets much easier to use to control the children, rather than a smartphone. Smart watches the child to lose more coherence than the mobile device, as they are always on his hand. Baby with a smartphone can attract too much attention to the robbers, while practically no different from usual hours of wearable devices is unlikely to be interested in intruders.
Cons: No electronic controller could replace parents personal attention.
3. Smart toys
Some sort of pets imitation, robotics, all kinds of games for kids development in different spheres like constructors painting stuff and others.
Cons: Too much of playing games reduces the interest in other ways of learning
So what should the parents do?
MD, a neuropsychiatrist, and director of education programs at European business schools Theo Kompernolle wrote the book "Brainchains," in which he argues that benefits and harms of any technology depends on their proper use.