Technology is being used more often during the pandemic by kids and  and their parents to become educated,  connect with others, enjoy online activities, take courses, build computer skills, educate kids and increase at home adult work. How do parents work with their kids in a collaborative way to use this opportunity for healthy online usage so that it is used inovatively and creatively by both kids and adults?

Does Technology Affect Brain Development?

Young minds are constantly developing, as the brain matures until age twenty-five. Busy parents need to consider this as they explore the many options of online usage for their children and teens. Some medical experts claim that the brains of our children’s generation are physically developing differently because of frequent interaction with technology, which impacts their communication skills. Technological usage can affect the parts of the brain that control a child and teen’s personality. This can affect the way kids interact in that there might be changes in their ability to regulate emotions, remember certain events, and pay attention to different things. Parents should take all of this into consideration as they consider how to communicate with their children on this topic.

Tips for Discussion Points for Parents:and Kids

1. Because young people may not be sufficiently aware that when they share intimate details about themselves on social media, it may come back to haunt them later. They are so enthusiastic that they might not realize how much their over-sharing will potentially impact their privacy. It is helpful for parents to discuss this with their kids in an open but not overly authoritative way, so the kids want to listen and share their opinions on the subject.
2. It’s also important for parents and kids to share their feelings and ideas about not only the use, but the constant presence of phones Many kids, as well as adults, feel a sense of deprivation if separated from their phones for more than twenty-four hours. Some don’t ever turn off their phones and even sleep with them under their pillows.
3.Parents and their kids need to openly talk about the social pressures and ramifications of online technology.I recommend discussing the impact of social networks online. That is, social networks are virtual spaces where teens are free to shape their own identities and manage networks. Their online comments from friends provide a channel for feedback and affection—although many of these relationships are shallow, and the process plays a role in how teens learn social rules and cope with status, respect, gossip, and trust. This is also true for adult social media users.
4.Having grown up digital, this generation expects speed, meaning they are used to instant responses and rapid feedback. If requests for regular feedback are not acknowledged in a short amount of time, they may feel emotionally less satisfied. Parents can empathize with their kids when this occurs and explain that not receiving quick replies needn’t be interpreted as rejection, but just part of busy lives.Such perspective helps kids adjust to the realities of technological life.
5.Another area of debate is whether screen time discourages critical thinking skills. Searching for information on the web by clicking for a key word is different than reading and synthesizing different resources. But this is not to say it makes for less learning—screen searching can teach the ability to scan, navigate, and analyze pertinent information and to synthesize and remember the goals of your search. Understanding this helps parents who have not grown up digital to recognize the strengths their kids are gaining from learning this way so they don’t rush in and object to frequent online research. It’s also exciting when kids can be encouraged to educate their at-home working parents how to increase their online research as well.
6. Another issue confronting parents is cyberbullying. The cyber bully gets an audience of bystanders by recruiting hundreds of friends on Facebook and millions of bystanders on YouTube, posting videos of attacks. Parents are terrified of online bullying, as they want to protect their children from Internet abuse. Because it can reach kids at home, it attacks them where they feel most safe. The ultimate bulwark against online bullying must exist at home in the conversations between parents and their kids. The new democratic family supports this kind of intervention. Family dialogue with busy cyber-smart parents is the best defense against the problem of bullying as well as porn and the online sexual predator.

Innovation

If you find you and your kids are more involved in technology because you are under lockdown, this is an opportunity to discuss new uses for technology. Often kids become the authorities teaching their parents new ways to socially network, communicate ideas and even explore new inventions, and make videos to put on youtube that enhance the discovery of new learning,  It’s great when parents respect their kids as the experts. It builds self-esteem in kids at a time when they feel more isolated than before.

It is also a way for parents who work at home to improve their computer skills with their kids’ help! How challenging it is for kids and parents to collaborate to enhance adults’ work skills! Show your kids your at home office and your business computer. Let them enter your world of work which will inspire them and see you as a hard working role model. At the same time that your child or teen learns more about prospective careers they also can inspire their parents to find more efficient ways to use technology to get their work done effectively.

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