In this modern time and age, even young children are now turning into little techies. There are differing parental opinions as to whether or not we should allow our kids to use these gadgets such as smart phones, tablets, computers and laptops. But I think as parents, we all have a common concern that we must need to address, and that is how to responsibly rear a digitally wired generation.
I don’t know what your parenting conviction is on this topic but in my personal opinion as a mother of a toddler, I’ve come to accept the fact that being tech smart is already a must today. Yes, I allow my daughter to watch TV. Yes, I allow my daughter to use the gadgets. Yes, I allow my daughter to talk to her dad using my mobile phone especially when he is away. But, I’m still a huge proponent of “everything in moderation.”
We are on our sixth week of playing Samsung KidsTime and new apps have been added that we truly enjoy. Topping her list is still Adarna House’s “A Day in the Market” and a game called, “Rio Mio,” that I just recently downloaded. I noticed that Noa is now starting to converse in Filipino using the words that she learned from “A Day in the Market” like palengke, “bayad po,” bayong, and the localized term for the different fruits and vegetables.
Mobile Device Usage among Young Kids: A Study
Like you, I still have some concerns on Noa’s usage of mobile devices and how to effectively implement her screen time schedules. For us to better understand how our young kids use a mobile device today, a study was conducted on September 2014 among the parents living in Southeast Asia (SEA) like Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
I find the results really interesting and it led me to understand that using mobile devices is indeed a popular practice among the SEA households. I found out that 98% of the children in these surveyed countries have access to mobile devices through their parents. The Philippines is 2nd to Singapore as the country with highest number of young mobile device users.
The survey also revealed that boys aged 3-5 years old use mobile devices more than girls of their age. Mobile device is widely used in a home where the mother works out of home.
Interestingly, 99% of the surveyed families use a mobile device while at home. I agree with what the survey says about using a mobile device while traveling or dining in a restaurant. I can relate to this because I also allow Noa to use my tablet when we are in those venues to keep her quiet and entertained (especially during a flight).
Major Concerns on Device Usage:
- Impact on Health – too much and frequent exposure to radiation and having poor eyesight
- Addiction – too engaged that could possibly lead a child to neglect his other activities like studying
- Exposure to Inappropriate Content – accidental clicking of ads that commonly leads to pornographic or violent content or websites
Southeast Asian Parents are in unison in saying that they find it extremely important to monitor / regulate a young child’s mobile device usage. Surprisingly, parents and children vary on their expectations on why a mobile device should be used. Parents are in a constant lookout for educational e-books and apps that would reinforce their child’s learning skills and abilities. However, children love using a mobile device for playing online games.
Noting the results of this survey conducted by the-Asian-Parent.com Insights, I can conclude that mobile device usage is already a part of our modern parenting lifestyle. Whether we accept it or not, and wherever we go, we cannot keep our children away from using mobile devices. We must not forget that our children first learned about the usage of mobile devices from us, their parents.
Now, the challenge is: How do we respond to it as parents? How do we train our children to use a mobile device responsibly? How do we raise tech-responsible kids in this digital age?
Why Choose Samsung KidsTime?
Because parents look for these valid monitoring features in an app, Samsung KidsTime made sure to address these concerns and include them in their educational app:
- Usage Time Limits — Samsung KidsTime has a Screen Limit feature that allows us to monitor the time that our child spends on a mobile device.
- Prevent In-app Purchases – Samsung KidsTime has an app lock and absolutely no ads so we need not worry about bill shocks (due to an accidental clicking to purchase) and routing to inappropriate websites.
- Monitoring Usage and Progress – Samsung KidsTime has a Progress Path Report customized to your children’s profile and activities
- No Ads – Samsung KidsTime has no annoying pop-outs trying to sell or promote a product or service
Also, find out what other parents think about Samsung KidsTime!
Practice What You Preach
Raising a tech-responsible kid starts with being a tech-responsible parent. As a blogger, I admit to be spending hours and hours in front of my laptop, tablet and smart phone when writing my articles and other blog-related tasks. I fall easily to the trap of being undisciplined in using my own mobile gadgets. I need to constantly watch over my own screen time limits to set a good example for my child.
By exercising those, I gain credibility in regulating my daughter’s mobile device usage in a day. Noa’s screen time is at max 2 hours every day (including TV), and in divided portions. I do my best to be a responsible parent by personally overseeing and reviewing each app before I install them. I really take this choosing task seriously.
Before I sleep at night, I download new apps for her and go through them one-by-one. Yes, it might be silly but I don’t mind road-testing the newly downloaded app before she sees them the next day. That’s how I try to be a hands-on-mom when it comes to raising my daughter up in this digital world.
Samsung KidsTime is one app for kids that stands out from what we now have because of its vibrant colors and child-appropriate graphics, and of course its carefully expert-curated content.
What is your best practice in raising tech-responsible kids?