Approximately 13 percent of the U.S. population was born prior to the existence of network TV, according to Genuine Individual. Compare this to the 13 percent that have never known a world without the BlackBerry and about 5 percent that were born after the release of the iPhone. With these stats, it is safe to say that technology, love it or hate it, is an integral part of our current society.
From tablets in the classrooms to worldwide video conferences, it is practically vital to have more than a basic understanding of the gadgets and applications available. But, how much and when do you introduce this to your children? And how do you keep them safe while doing so?
Infants and Toddlers
If you do choose to introduce your child to these programs at this time, with each purchase or download, ask yourself what it is doing for your child. What are the pros and cons? And, of course, always provide adult supervision.
School Age Children
As children begin to write, email can be a useful reading and writing tool. Similar to the days of pen pals, you can assign a friend or family member to communicate with your child. But, be sure to set guidelines about account access and passwords. It is recommended to have complete access and all passwords until age 12.
This also is a good time to consider introducing a basic cell phone like the Samsung Factor with limited minutes and text messaging capabilities.
You should continue to engage in conversations about what they are doing online. Get on the same social network sites, even as an inactive presence, so you can monitor their activity from afar. Send text messages, chat with them on IM and get comfortable with their online world so you can continue to be part of it.
Finally, this is a great time for them to have full smartphone and tablet capabilities if they have proven themselves to be responsible. New phones like the LG G Flex are great for teens because they have a back that is self-healing. This is perfect for backpacks, purses and the occasional drops and scratches that are likely to occur.