The disadvantages of gadgets for children isn’t breaking news to parents and educators nowadays. One study suggests that gadget addiction is prevalent in people who’re in their early 20s1. Preventive measures include educating younger kids about the dangers of using gadgets too much as well as preventing addiction from an early age.
But, did you know that technology can also improve parent-child relationships? With the right mindset and proper use of tech gadgets, any parent can foster a stronger bond with any child. Here are some ways to do it.
5 Ways to Improve Your Relationship with Your Child Using Tech Gadgets
1. Protecting Your Child’s Image on Social Media
While you may think that posting embarrassing stories and photos of your kids on social media is cool or amusing, it could lead a child to detach from you.
Most teens try to build their images to what they want society to see them. Commenting on your child’s posts and photos on social media that can harm the image he/she is trying to build is going to damage your relationship with him/her.
It’s fine to engage with your child on social media. But, be careful of what you’d post or comment regarding him/her.
2. Co-Playing Mobile, Computer, and Video Games
Many children and teens use gadgets to play games. Because of this, a child’s relationship with his/her parents is at risk, especially when playing alone or with friends more often.
A study suggests that co-playing improves parent-child relationships2. A father who plays video games with his children may have a greater positive impact than a co-playing mother. Still, having the entire family engaged in games together may lead to a stronger bond.
This can also be applied to toddlers. While many parents use gadgets like a babysitterfor their little ones, leaving them alone with gadgets for long periods can leave long term damage.
To prevent this from happening, spend time with your toddler while he/she plays using gadgets and limit screen exposure as short as possible. This will establish a positive bond between you and your toddler while keeping them healthy from the bad effects of tech devices.
If you plan to start co-playing with your kids, it’s important to choose games that don’t exhibit negative values like violence or sexual acts.
Joyofandroid.com suggests that using brain training apps including Can Your Escape? is a great way to keep your mind in tip-top shape. These kinds of games are also great to co-play with your child’s developing mind. There are also entertaining apps for toddlers that are not only fun but also educational.
3. Set a Regular Toddler Reading Time
There are tons of books that can make reading time fun for toddlers. But you can also use mobile devices and read e-books to your little ones. Interactive e-books can make reading even more fun. These may include videos or moving images that can entice a child to read more often.
Parents reading to their children creates fondness and irreplaceable memories that they’ll always keep with them even when they become older. It also improves their literacy and improves their reading abilities earlier than children who don’t experience reading time.
Dialogic reading is also another way to improve a child’s literacy and relationship with his/her parents4. This is a type of reading activity where children become the storyteller and the parents as the questioners and listeners.
4. Learn New Skills Together
The Internet is filled with educational information that’s why it’s easy to learn new skills. Parents can utilize this advantage to become closer to their children.
For example, if your child shows interest in cooking, try to learn new recipes from video streaming sites or recipe websites. Test out the new recipe with your child and be successful or fail together. This doesn’t only apply to teens or adolescents. Cooking with preschoolers is also possible and a great activity that will nurture their skills.
There are also a lot of possibilities to learn about technology with children. This may include building computers, troubleshooting smartphone errors, and basic programming. These may apply to older kids or teenagers.
5. Follow Rules that You Give Your Kids
When you limit your child’s use of their gadgets, set an example by giving yourself limitations as well. Children will imitate their parents and other adults that spend most of the time with them. And based on a study, children’s behavior of copying adults has long-term effects5.
If you want your child to do something, you should also do it. Of course, this doesn’t apply to everything like coming home late if your work requires it. However, try to follow this with reasonable actions such as limiting gadget use and showing online etiquette.
Doing this will prevent relationship problems between parents and children. A child won’t get the idea of “My mom/dad does it. Why can’t I?” All these efforts will lead to a better parent-child relationship.
There’s no perfect parenting style. But every parent only wants what’s best for their kids as well as to be close with them.
It’s important to remember that every child has unique traits, personalities, and interests. Parents must understand and know their children well to create an unbreakable bond between them. And there’s no better way to do this than to be observant and be open.
Communication is the key to any great relationship. And by communication, it means that parents must not only be a good talker. Parents should become better listeners. This is still the best way to nurture parent-child relationships.
Author Bio: Kian, a mother of one, has taught English since 2013. Her passion for teaching drives her to write content on how to use technology for educating and nurturing young minds.