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Parenting our Tech Savvy Children.

Students and TechnologyIts summertime…… the sun is shining, the air is warm, the birds are chirping and you ask your children, who are busy playing  Minecraft on the Xbox, “Do you kids want to go to the pool today?” and their answer is, “No we don’t want to go, it’s too hot out and it’s too crowded.”  You try and bribe them by offering to buy them a Popsicle or treats at the concession stand.  You mention there may be other kids from school at the pool too and even offer to bring one of their friends.  But, their answer is still a resounding “No.”

Kids today seem to be obsessed with all things electronic: video games, tablets, computers, texting on cell phones, posting selfies on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  They would rather sit inside alone and communicate virtually with their friends, than actually call each other or spend time together.  They use chat functions on Xbox live and talk over a headset or Skype together.

It is good they are communicating, yes, but is the way they are communicating making them less sociable?  Will there be long-term effects when they are older?  Technology isn’t going anywhere, so parents need to learn how to parent their tech savvy kids.  “Every child is different, so it is difficult to draw hard-and-fast rules, but I think wise parents go for less tech use rather than more,” concludes psychologist Jane Healy, author of, Failure to Connect.

Parents need to closely monitor their kid’s activity on social media sites.  Make sure the people they “friend” are actually their friends.  Monitor what they post and don’t allow them to reveal too much personal information.  Also, talk to your kids about cyberbullying and ask them to tell you if anyone is bothering them or posting things that aren’t nice.  Limit your children’s time on the video games, TV and other electronic gizmos.  Make sure there are certain times during the day, such as meal time, when there are no electronics.

So unplug your children and take them outside, to the pool, for a bike ride or a hike.  Kids’ brains need the nourishment of the outdoors, which they cannot get from electronics.  They will thank you later.

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