I know we can all think of half a million reasons why technology is bad for our kids – just off the top of our heads. When my daughter was born, I was the first to say, “No tv until she’s two!” “She’s not getting a cell phone until she’s old enough to pay for it herself!” And, “Social media will ruin her life!” Ok, I’m a little bit dramatic.
I still stand by those statements, and yes, there are many reasons exposure to technology can be harmful and damaging to kids – especially young ones. But… we live in a rapidly evolving and technology-focused world. It just wouldn’t be fair, or very possible, to completely cut our kids off from technology. So I’m learning to look for some of the advantages technology comes with. And no, I don’t mean plopping them in front of Netflix when you need half an hour of quiet. Although there’s certainly a time and place for that as well : ) I’m talking about three, pretty great reasons technology is good for kids…
While the internet isn’t always the most reliable source for information, it does host a whole bunch of amazing educational stuff your kids will love. My daughter could literally spend all day staring at live webcams of eagle’s nests, looking at picture after picture of giant trucks, and watching YouTube videos of caterpillars turning into butterflies. Once your kids are school-aged, there are a ton of great websites and resources for practicing their math, reading, and writing skills. And among all the really annoying and addictive games you can download onto your phone or tablet, there are actually many great learning and educational apps.
Connections and communication
If you live far away from family or friends, programs like Skype or FaceTime are a great way for your kids to stay connected with them. We live in a pretty secluded mountain town, so being able to schedule Skype dates with the grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins my daughter usually only sees a couple time a year, gives everyone an opportunity to still form a close relationship.Use #Skype and #FaceTime to keep your kids connected with far away relatives. Click To Tweet
E-readers and tablets can serve as a virtual library, allowing you to bring books just about anywhere. They’re great for road trips and travelling, or when you have a little one you’re afraid is going to chew or rip apart every physical library book they come in contact with. Added bonus: most libraries will allow you to checkout ebooks, keeping reading with your kids easily accessible and easily affordable.
So don’t feel too bad the next time you catch your kid playing with your phone or tablet – they just might be learning something!