Family Circle's Editor-in-Chief Linda Fears teams up with parenting expert Michele Borba, EdD, on MSNBC's the Today Show to answer the question: What is technology doing to our kids? They consider what kids are missing out on by being plugged in to digital media for an average of 7.5 hours a day and how parents can change their family's habits with leading by example.
Awkward biological changes, unpredictable emotions and nebulous social ties make the schoolyard a testing ground for adolescent behavior. As antagonists or victims, many children experience bullying. Some discover their individuality while others explore a darkness that haunts them into adulthood.
The increasing uptake of broadband services in the UK has resulted in a sharp increase in the number of kids that have access to the internet. This can be very beneficial for kids, as it gives them access to valuable tools and resources for educational purposes as well as the ability to socialise more effectively, keep in touch with friends and family, and enjoy entertainment at home.
Here's the fact, our societies have changed, so too must we! Enabling our kids to compete in the global community certainly requires us to transcend the traditional instructional approach. Our children have undoubtedly lost interest in the 20th century (traditional) instructional approach. With cell phones, social networks, cable TV, multiple radio stations, etc., do we actually expect today's kids to adapt to the approaches we used ten years ago?
These days, you don’t really have to ask kids to get off your lawn. Chances are, they have no interest in being on your lawn in the first place and are playing computer games inside instead of wreaking havoc on your manicured grass. According to a new study by Internet security firm AVG, today’s kids are learning computer skills long before they are learning life skills.
The study published today analysed 26 parental control tools for PCs, 3 for games consoles and 2 for mobile phones. The study found that the existing software is good at filtering adult online content, but there is still at least a 20% chance that sites with unsuitable material for children and especially those encouraging youngsters to self harm (sites promoting anorexia, suicide or self-mutilation) could pass through their filters. At the same time, other sites that include content specifically for children are blocked. Only a few tools are able to filter web 2.0 content (such as social networking sites, forums, and blogs), block instant messaging or chat protocols or filter contact lists.
The YMCA of Silicon Valley announced that it has received a grant from IBM of 19 Young Explorer™ learning centers, which are the centerpiece of IBM’s KidSmart Early Learning grant program. The Young Explorers are being donated to the Y for its early learning programs, targeting children between the ages of 4 and 7.
The next time you are in a public place where families gather, such as a playground, a children's soccer game or a museum, see how many parents are focused on their mobile phones instead of watching their kids.
"If kids are going to look up something inappropriate on the Internet, they’re probably going to find a way to do it," she said. "So it probably has more to do with talking to them about making good choices and bad choices, and values, and what’s appropriate or inappropriate."
The Internet: Parents can keep the family computer in a common area of the house until kids are much older and need quiet in order to concentrate on writing or other school projects. Establish rules and monitor the sites kids visit. When they are old enough to use social networking sites, parents can help choose privacy settings, to limit their contact with strangers.
Ed Suk, executive director of the New York Branch of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, says some of the most important things parents can do are to try to keep up with technological advances so they know what children's risks might be, and keep the lines of communication open so kids feel free to talk about any scary or disturbing things they may stumble across. Visit Netsmartz.org for more information on how to keep Internet usage safe.
Computer vision syndrome happens when children stare at the computer screen for a very long time especially when they are focusing so much when playing their games. Its main cause is due to the various reactions of our brain and eyes to the words and graphics that appear in the computer screen. Eyes find it difficult to focus on the words or characters on a screen due to its brightness at the center and not so well defined edges. Because of this, our eyes will continuously drift that can hamper our eyesight. Its effects vary from one child to another.
From text messaging, Skype, social networking, blogging and emails, we have never had so many ways to communicate. However, are there times when the one-on-one communication between human beings falls through the cracks and technology can take control over a family?