How to Healthily Introduce Technology to Your Kids

Kids today are introduced to technology at a young age — it’s almost impossible to avoid. From the first moment they see a screen, they’re hooked. From the first time a screen calms a child down from a bad cry, their parents are hooked, too. It’s all too easy for parents to allow technology at a young age when they see how happy it makes their kids.

But as tempting as technology is, it has definite downsides. From cyberbullying to screen obsession, there are plenty of tech dangers to steer clear of. Here are seven tips that will help you introduce technology to your kids in a healthy way.

1. Buy a good starter phone

A phone is probably the first piece of advanced technology your kid will have that is truly theirs. They’ll feel ownership over their first phone, and if you get them the wrong one, the unsupervised activity could become dangerous. Doing your research and finding a safe phone for kids will help ensure that doesn’t happen.

A kid’s first smartphone should offer standard features like basic calling, messaging, music storage, and a camera. To keep your kiddos safe, though, it’s best that their first phone not have the following things:

  • Internet browsing
  • Social media
  • Games
  • App downloads/app store

As a parent, you can determine what capabilities you do and don’t want your kid’s first phone to

have. Just do your research and make sure the device is age-appropriate for them.

2. Make them work for it

There are few things worse than an entitled child. If you don’t present your kid’s first phone as a reward, they’ll take it for granted. Make them feel like they earned it so that they’ll take the responsibility seriously.

If age is all you’re concerned about, you could tie getting a phone to a particular birthday. Or if you want them to work hard for the phone, set goals for them. Make getting the phone contingent on doing specific chores around the house or earning certain grades in school. If they know what they have to do or how long they have to wait, they won’t feel as impatient. Plus, acquiring the phone will feel like an accomplishment.

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