In grade school we had the opportunity to learn how to use a typewriter. I decided NOT to take the class because it was of little to no interest to me! I was going to be the next Jane Goodall, so I took an extra course of biology and told myself that Jane didn’t type in the rainforest – and I felt very good about that decision! Well – thankfully I have over time learned how to type, and rather fast might I add. In hindsight it was
cute naïve of me to think that I would be able to go through life without ever having to face a keyboard… little did I know that the keyboard would become my livelihood. We can no longer avoid technology, typing or computers, which is why I WANT our children on the computer!
While Jacob (8) wants to be a Paleontologist (wow, I just spelled that correctly on the first try!), I do want him to possibly branch out and garner skills far beyond dusting off rocks in our backyard. I have learned from my previous short-sightedness. Instead of sticking my head in the sand, I am going to embrace technology, especially anything that will give my children an advantage in the future.
Before you think I have thrown all my parental-caution to the wind, here are nine reasons why I want our children to use the computer:
1. Typing develops their finger dexterity and speed. Learning how to type at a young age can only help them later in life, apparently Jane Goodall DOES know how to type!
2. Exposing our children to the internet gives us the opportunity to have good conversations about internet safety and social media etiquette at a young(ish) age.
3. We ensure that the internet and social media do NOT become tabu and “forbidden objects”, which could lead to careless and irresponsible use later.
4. Through technology, our children can stay in touch with their grandparents and other out-of-town relatives.
5. We use the internet to research information for school projects and print beautiful color pictures for reports.
6. Our kids share art work and photos online through Apple photo sharing without us having to worry about images landing in the wrong hands.
7. Writing Thank You cards is no longer a battle. The kids love corresponding with their grandparents via my email address.
8. Showing our kids Amazon.com and some of our family’s other “preferred vendors” has taught them about the value of money, and it has become a family sport to shop around for the best prices available.
9. Allowing our kids to watch “epic unboxings” on YouTube has brought a whole new level of “excitement”/ madness to unwrapping presents. If you don’t know what I am talking about, consider yourself lucky!
As a mother of four young children, I am amazed and impressed by how quickly the kids embrace and learn to navigate technology. The internet has improved our family’s long distance communication, as most of our relatives live several states and countries away. I appreciate that the boys can quickly contact their grandparents and by the use of technology the miles melt away. In an instant it is like their grandparent is right there in the living room with them: playing games, responding to messages and developing their own relationships.
As a long-distance family we embrace technology and enjoy our screen-time as it is synonymous with family time.
For Internet-Safety tips your kids WILL follow: Read here!
What are your family’s rules around computer use and screen time?