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How to Use Technology Wisely

Technology has changed the way we live. We compulsively unlock and re-lock our phones; we eat our meals with tablets for company; we spend endless hours refreshing our inboxes, chats, and social media feeds for the next dopamine hit. For you, a well-meaning parent trying to raise a kid who will become a useful, informed, leading member of society, this may be concerning. So what can you do to help your child build a healthy relationship with technology? Here are a few tips:  Be mindful of their “diet”; or better yet, help them be mindful

The first step is to pay attention. How much of your child’s time is spent in front of a screen? What is on the screen, and for how long? Apps are built to be addictive, and as with ice-cream, crisps, and candies, they are best consumed in small doses.  So sit down with your child and reframe the activity, come up with a reward system, or set a schedule.  Enforce your agreements and let them earn their screen time. --- Encourage them to study things that help them understand, i.e. things that don't change We are attracted to the new, but it is in studying the old that we learn the most. Encourage your child to explore the disciplines that help us understand the world, whether it’s biology, math, history, or even the art of social conversation.  By studying these subjects, your child is taking part in a grand, species-wide effort to make sense of our lives. And that's much more valuable than the latest video on YouTube or TikTok. --- Challenge their beliefs through questions With technology enabling a constant stream of information, it is easy to get swept up by the news cycle. But news (and much of what you read) is often biased, sensationalized, or just plain wrong. It pays to become media literate.  What does that mean?  It begins with challenging beliefs. Start with simple questions: - What if what you’re reading was true/untrue? - How would that change your understanding of the situation? - What would you need to learn in order to understand the issue?  Teaching your child to ask these questions will help them read with a healthy dose of skepticism. In the long run, it will make them less reactive and more empathetic citizens of the world.  --- For more on how to become a better consumer of technology, click here. Let us know how these tips worked out for you by leaving a comment on our Facebook page.

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