Please pick-up a copy of the current issue of Drum magazine, 24 July 2008, and read the two pages 44 and 45 for the article “The Mobile Menace“, which has the following 7 tips I share with parents.
1. Don’t buy cellphones for your child below 13 years old. Electronic wireless devices like cellphones emit radiation that can impact badly on your child’s growing brain. Please read how cellphones develop impacts your child’s developing brain on International Parenting Association website.
2. Limit the amount of time your child spends talking or listening to music on their cellphone. The brain needs a rest and should not be constantly bombarded with stimuli. The same goes for TV as well. Switch them off when not in use, especially while sleeping or doing homework.
3. Lead by example. For instance, do not talk on the cellphone while driving or answer a call in the middle of conversations. You can read more cellphone etiquette tips from BulkSMS.
4. Teach your children phone manners from the moment they are given their first cellphones. Most children and adults have not been taught how to use their cellphones appropriately. Good manners include switching off your cellphone at events like church, family gatherings and if you must, excuse yourself and move into another room.
5. Use technology as a topic of conversation with your children and learn more about it. Ask your children to teach you about the hi-tech world they live in. You may be surprised at how articulate they can be about things they spend most of their time using, thinking about, dreaming about and talking about. Learn more about communicating in terms of other people’s values from Dr John Demartini.
6. Don’t let technology be a substitute for parenting or experience. Spend time with your children doing other activities so they can learn how to do them and in the process bond with you. Technology like television has been described as replacing experience i.e. you would rather watch the days of other people’s lives than live your own life.
7. Don’t be afraid that your children won’t know how to use technology if they are not exposed from the youngest age. If your child is self assured, has high self-esteem and confidence in their own abilities, they can learn anything they put their mind to.
Now if you are concerned as most parents or teachers are about the constant challenges for children in school, you may want to read the 6 Lesson Schoolteacher essay by John Taylor Gatto who will be visiting South Africa for the first time in 2009.