Using Technology to Build Character In Our Kids

By Tracey Dowdy

As parents, there are many things we want for our children. We want them to grow up to have more, do more, and be more than we have, we do, or we are. Most of all, we want them to grow up to be kind and decent human beings, who care for the planet and each other.

Because technology has seamlessly integrated into our lives, we sometimes overlook its potential as a tool for character building. But looking for teachable moments and making the most of them when you find them, you’ll see plenty of opportunities to instill the values that matter to you most.

It starts with teaching them to care for your devices. Generally, the first technology your child has access to is your smartphone or tablet. From the very beginning, teach them that using the device is a privilege – not a right – and with privilege comes responsibility. Remember, most of what they’ve handled is designed for kids – think oversized plastic blocks, and board books – so they’re oblivious to the potential disaster of dropping your device.

Explore the internet together to teach them the world is a wild and wonderful place – online and offline. Watch documentaries about cultures or lifestyles different from your own, and have a conversation about what you’ve seen.

Play games and solve mysteries together. By engaging in co-play, you’re developing social skills, problem solving strategies, and teaching cooperation. Just as important, playing competitive games or games where they may sometimes lose teaches them sportsmanship and character.

Teach your kids compassion and empathy through social media. Nearly 43% of kids say they have been bullied online and 25% say it’s happened more than once, making it a critically important issue for families to talk about. Just as important is online privacy. Apps like Snapchat are popular with kids because of the short shelf life of images posted, but teaching your kids that nothing ever really disappears is important.

Finally, sometimes it’s good to take a digital time out to learn about self-control and patience. We’ve become accustomed to instant gratification, but taking a break from social media – even for an hour or two – can go a long way to breaking bad habits and restoring perspective.

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.

Comments:

  1. Definitely believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the net the simplest thing to be aware of.
    I say to you, I definitely get irked while people
    consider worries that they plainly don’t know about.
    You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing
    without having side effect , people can take a signal.
    Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  2. I’ve read some just right stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for revisiting.

    I surprise how much attempt you set to create one of these
    magnificent informative website.

  3. Whats up this is kinda of off topic but I was wanting
    to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with
    HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding skills so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  4. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this
    post was great. I do not know who you are but definitely you’re
    going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

  5. I got this web site from my pal who told me concerning this site and at
    the moment this time I am visiting this web page and reading very informative articles at this time.

  6. Excellent beat ! I would like to apprentice whilst you amend your site, how can i subscribe for a blog site?
    The account helped me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted of
    this your broadcast offered vibrant clear concept

  7. Hello, Neat post. There’s an issue with your web site in web explorer,
    may test this? IE nonetheless is the marketplace leader and a
    good section of people will omit your fantastic writing because of this problem.

  8. What a material of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious familiarity
    on the topic of unexpected emotions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.