Can children use cell phones and tablets in a healthy way?

¿Pueden usar los niños móviles y tablets de una forma saludable?

Today, many parents are concerned about whether their children are being overexposed to technology, especially cell phones and tablets, leading to questions that often go unanswered. It is important to reason that childhood 5, 10 or 15 years ago was not the same as it is now, with so many stimuli and sources of knowledge.

Responsible education with mobiles and tablets is extremely important

Technology, such as cell phones and tablets, can be beneficial for children and adolescents, as long as they learn to use it well, with the help of their parents. Educating without depriving, but setting limits, will become the best course of action for all adults who have children at home who are becoming dependent on the tablet or smartphones.

The Spanish technology company SPC asked the expert in education and digital communication Laura Cuesta about the use of tablets in the smallest of the house. She responded that it is very important for minors to find the guidance and the way to be “autonomous in their digital life”. To this end, it is necessary to encourage children to have their own resources for their needs and to make normal use of technology, talking about it naturally and educating them responsibly. In short, the use of cell phones and tablets should be done responsibly, contemplating and sharing with them the benefits and disadvantages of using them.

Cuesta also explained that the American Association of Pediatrics recommended in one of its latest studies that children under the age of two should not be exposed to cell phone and tablet technology. From that age, the integration could be done under the parents’ responsibility and always helping the children to use these devices. Of course, these devices would need to have parental control systems installed.

How can technology be safe for children?

It is very important to understand the needs of children. This means listening to them when they need to look for information or get advice about something online. Parents will have to support and educate them by practicing other activities such as reading a book or their complementary didactic materials.

It is important that parents do not use cell phones and tablets as a method of easy rewards. They should also give priority to silence during meals, healthy family discussions, and board games or complementary activities such as painting, clay crafts, etc.

Once the diversity of resources that children can have has been contemplated and explained, they will understand that technology is not the only world that awaits them. Minors will also need to know that they need to protect themselves online, especially teenagers, who will have at hand a number of best practices that will help them protect themselves.

Nowadays, it is of vital importance to educate children in empathetic and responsible language to avoid falling into the harmful communication of networks. Criticism, judgments or hate messages are something they must understand, to avoid falling into it and know how to denounce it when they see it.

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