Technology has been recognized as a valuable part of the early education framework. Touch-screens have made digital media truly interactive as never before. That being said, there are a number of technology pitfalls that surround kids and families every day.
The Henrico County Public Library is happy to recommend a handful of Healthy Media Habits to help our families navigate the tricky world of technology:
Make a Media Plan
Get your whole family on board with a technology plan. Setting limits on family tech can help you make sure everyone knows what is expected. The American Academy of Pediatrics has a great list of tips for families to consider when making a plan, you can find it here: Family Media Use Plan
Be a technology role model
Your kids want to be just like you. Let them see you using technology in a responsible way. Check out this article from Common Sense Media about media role models: Why Media Role Models Matter
Interact with your children while they use media
Kids learn a lot when they interact with a real person. Have conversations and encourage your kids to explore their natural curiosity. Ask questions like: “What do you think is going to happen next?” Above all, talk about what is happening on the screen.
Review content before you pass It along to your child
Not all content is great for all kids. Review media before you pass it along to your kids. Make sure they are watching or playing games that you fully approve of. www.commonsensemedia.org is a great resource for finding TV, app and movie reviews.
Consider what is being replaced when your children use technology
Kids learn a lot by interacting with the physical world. Time spent in front of screens is time when kids don’t get to explore the real world. Look for media that promotes movement and real world curiosity.
As always, your Henrico County libraries love helping families! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask us (www.henricolibrary.org/kids/ask-a-librarian) or stop by your nearest library to talk to one of our children’s services staff members.