Children and technology: It’s up to you to help foster a positive relationship
Did you know that every year, approximately one billion phone conversations are initiated between children ages five and 16?
The very nature of using mobile communication to communicate and navigate life has offered a plethora of opportunities to learn how to improve communication and build trust and friendship.
Voice communications, including voice recognition and artificial intelligence, have been proven to be both teaching young children how to listen, as well as to provide a source of dialogue. Using voice-activated tools, young children can also have open communication with people whom they don’t know.
Because children in school vary in age, having tools at school can help young people discover different ways to communicate, and, ultimately, learning will improve. Early exposure to technology, including a focus on creativity, also helps foster a sense of responsibility and self-worth.
Discovering how technology affects developing relationships is an important first step toward living a strong and confident life. Here are some tips on how to use the technology at home to help improve relationships with children.
Communicate and connect with the best possible person. Discuss the issues and topics you want to discuss or how you want to interact with your children. In many cases, it is also helpful to offer support, or to make a point to know the names of the people your children interact with. Find out how technology is impacting social skills, such as a difference in facial expressions, tone of voice, as well as different cognitive abilities. Explore early use of technology in the home. Children start using technology at an early age and, although it can be beneficial to get them familiar with new media, it is also important to talk to them about appropriate use, and how to make informed decisions about technology. Talk openly about the behavior you are concerned about. When possible, use resources like AsapSCIENCE to find information for kids, for parents, or for others in your family. Stress that language is your friend. While some children are quick to use technology to communicate, you can also encourage this by embracing how the technology helps children to make sense of experiences. Whenever you can, the more “sophisticated” your conversation, the better. Project awareness and encourage everyone to talk. When it comes to using technology, it is helpful to encourage as many other people in the conversation as possible. Try to minimize interruptions to keep the conversation flowing. Respond, and make a point to help address complaints. Children are often frustrated by interruptions, so use your interactions with your child as an opportunity to reinforce your goal to foster supportive and collaborative communication. Practice listen, talk, and listen some more. Listen with care and concern. Listen attentively. Allow yourself to say “No” when appropriate. Practice cognitive and verbal math, such as the concept of framing, which helps present sound information in an easy-to-follow manner. Teach your child that, while sharing stories about technology, it is important to do so respectfully and nicely. Encourage conversation about the technology, but don’t overstep your bounds or be dismissive of concerns. Use humor when appropriate. Enjoy the challenge of figuring out a way to make conversation with young children who are challenging to deal with, but also want a discussion about technology. Provide examples of how technology has enhanced your relationship, which might help your child relate to the technology’s role in that relationship.
Creating a positive communication environment with your children can also create a more positive communication environment, so keep this in mind as you help your children figure out how to use technology effectively and personally.