The top reason we are thankful for technology in our kids' lives
Updated: Oct 3, 2018
With Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend, we got to thinking about what we are thankful for in our kids' lives.
While we are often driven to complain about technology and obsess about the ill effects it may have on our kids when used in the wrong way, we would be remiss to discount the positive benefits that it can bring to the lives of our kids when utilized in the right way.
Here at Kidictive, we firmly believe that technology is an integral part of our kids lives and let’s face it...technology is here to stay. By shifting our thinking from negative to positive we can appreciate the great things that technology can bring and how we can leverage it in beneficial ways for our kids.
One of the biggest reasons why we are thankful for technology in our kids' lives?
While real-life, human connection is vital, technology opens a whole other world to our kids in their ability to CONNECT with people and places around them.
Here are just some of the ways that we are thankful that technology can help our kids to CONNECT:
1. Software such as FaceTime and Skype allow our kids the ability connect with extended family and friends around the world to share their experiences and life events in real time. This is invaluable to teaching our kids to stay connected to their extended family and to increase their sense of belonging in the world;
2. Online games allow kids to connect with each other in new ways. My 12-year-old son talks more to his friends when he is chatting through his headset on Fortnite* than in person, especially the ones he doesn't see at school every day. My younger kids can connect in Minecraft* and work together to build new worlds.
Technology in this way is allowing our kids to foster the skills of collaboration and teamwork as they communicate with one another to an end goal – these are certainly skills that we want to encourage and will serve them well in the future!
3. Technology allows our kids to share and connect with other kids that have similar interests and to be inspired by one another. With proper parent approvals and monitoring, posting on forums such as Instagram* and Musical.ly* (now TikTok*) can be great platforms for kids to inspire and be inspired by one another – sharing the latest slime recipe, dance moves, a song they have written, an instrument they can play – the possibilities to connect and share in inspiring ways are countless;
4. Livestream and video sharing services like Facebook and YouTube allow our kids to connect with and virtually explore parts of the world and the universe that, without technology, may remain a mystery.
Did your kids follow Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield online as he lived in space? What an amazing ability to be able to connect to the universe! The possibilities are endless for our kids to connect and learn about current events and issues in the world opening up a global view of the world they live in;
5. Finally, technology provides us more ways to stay connected with our kids as we do our best to find balance in our own busy lives. When we can't be there in person, we can still send a quick text of good luck when they have a test and be able to virtually tuck them into bed when we travel. But perhaps, the best yet, is receiving those unsolicited heart emojis or DMs from to your child which certainly brightens life when we are not able to be with them in person.
It can be easy to lose sight of the benefits of technology as we try to navigate through uncharted waters of kids and technology but this Thanksgiving, we are giving thanks to technology and the ways in which it keeps us connected!
Like all good things though, it all about balance. So, let’s remember to check those devices at the door this weekend and practice some good old, real-life connection around the dinner table this Thanksgiving!
We would love to hear from all of you on the ways in which you are thankful for technology in your kids' lives.
Happy Thanksgiving Canadian Friends!
* as always, for online platforms we recommend that you regularly review privacy settings, ensure approval processes are set up, keep versions of your child's accounts on your devices and most importantly, talk to you children about online protocols and acceptable behaviour.