As a parent, you want what’s best for your child. The choices you’re faced with today are very different than the choices parents have had to make in the past. There has never been more information, research, or technology available to you, which can be both a blessing and a curse. Raising digital natives, who are exposed to more technology in their every day life than we could have dreamed of at their age, can be a challenge. How much screen time is too much? Which parental control software is the best choice for your family? At what age should kids get tablets, cell phones, etc.? It can feel like technology is an enemy, but it shouldn’t.
Technology is evolving at breakneck speeds, and it certainly isn’t going away. Researchers, health and education experts, and psychologists have dedicated their careers to developing better technological tools for both kids and adults. While the mommy-shamers may disagree, many experts believe that with the proper understanding and guidance, parents can successfully use technology to help kids learn and grow.
Technology as a Tool
Kids often struggle with attention, either because of an ADHD diagnosis or other issues that often lead to attention problems. All children are different, and their attention spans will develop at different rates. While technology can be a distraction in some instances, it’s important to remember that — when used well — it can also be a tool. Here are some of our favorite technology resources for parents looking to help their kids effectively manage their struggles with attention and focus.
Tips from the Pros:
Keep your kid’s technology decluttered: block ads, or pay for ad-free versions of your apps.
Select “reader view” on browsers for text-only access.
Use Guided Access on Apple products so your child can’t exit a particular screen and stays on task.
Separate unsupportive tech from helpful tech and set limits accordingly. Teach your child the difference between relevant, useful technology and time-wasters.
Use technology for interaction, not isolation. Communicate with your kids about what they are doing with technology and stay involved.
Don’t Forget the Apps
The built-in apps on a smartphone are great for keeping kids organized on task, but with the right mix of apps, your smartphone can be an even more powerful tool. There are so many well-designed apps available. We’ve compiled a short list of lists for you from some trusted resources:
Neuroscience-Designed Reading Intervention Technology
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Get Proactive with Technology
Raising digital natives and the Net Generation is no easy task, but you’re up to it! Research technology suited specifically to your child’s diagnosis or struggle, talk to other parents, teachers, and medical professionals for more insight on what’s new. The better you understand the technology available to your child, the easier it will be to help them find the tools and tech that work best for them.