Using Screens: Questions that need to be asked

How do you want your children be able to use screens twenty or thirty years from now?

Before we turn over to our children the keys to our car, a powerful piece of equipment, we give them guides as to how they are to use it. Should we not give our children similar guides for using another powerful tool, our screens, especially when they are hooked up to computers and smart phones?

Searching the internet for such a guide I found there were multiple useful thoughtful answers to questions about how much time a child should be watching screens and descriptions of the optimal situations for watching. The question I could not find was how do you want your kids to be able to use their screens twenty or thirty years from now? It may be an unsettling question for parents because it is too relevant to how we as adults use our screen time. Even so the question still needs to be asked if we are to prepare our children for their future. For, unless there is an unimaginable catastrophe, screens will be part of their future. So I decided to start raise the question and start an answer.

What do you want your child to know and to be able to do with this powerful tool manifested through screens?

Be able to:
o Research any question.
o Communicate with friends, relatives, and others.
o Find interesting entertainment.
o Use the tool as a means of expressing oneself.
o Assess the accuracy of any information received.
o Deal with uncomfortable and even scary information and sights.
o Determine what information to give and what to withhold.
o Decide when to be on screens and when not to.
o Reflect on how the use of the screen is affecting them as people.

Readers, please add to this specific list.

Parents will add items that meet the needs of their individual children.

Future blogs will expand on some of these items.

Copyright Harriet Heath, PhD, 2018

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