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The new language isn’t Spanish, or Chinese. Here’s a hint: 010111000011110001111. The new language is digital.
Kids today are born into a digital world — my 1-year-old can’t speak English yet, but he’s absorbing every move I make as I interact with my smartphone. It’s no wonder children are fluent in the language of tech. For most adults, however, digital is a foreign language. And we’re anything but fluent. We were born long before “Google it” and “Facebook me” became common verbs. The technology revolution is unfolding around the globe — in China, India, and all over. Our kids will be competing with each other in a global market. And the language of the global market will be digital.
Children do not, and will not, learn from their massive amounts of screen time unless we step in to help them.
Everywhere I go, I see kids accessing inappropriate content for their age. You wouldn’t buy your first grader a sixth grade-level book to read, so why do we let our first graders go on websites, watch TV shows, or play video games that are not appropriate for their age?
Bad things can happen when kids are just sitting there, dormant and passive. For children to get all the benefits of technology, they need to interact with content in a fun and active way.
Just because your child may be savvier than you when it comes to technology, don’t give them complete freedom when accessing content. I guarantee the more you get involved, the more benefits your child will receive from today’s digital technology.
Laura St. John is Co-Creator of Discovery Kids Puterbugs, a program that teaches young children healthy ways to respect technology as a tool, not just a toy. You can follow Laura’s blog on TLC Family’s website, www.parentables.com. Discovery Kids Puterbugs is a proud partner of Child Time and is offered as an enrichment class at select locations, or in an online format at www.discoverykids.com/puterbugs. For class scheduling and local provider contact info, visit: www.childtime.com.