Monday, 14 October 2019

How working with computers is good for our kids

Boy on computer

We've never shied away from using technology in our home and computers can be great for our kids. Sometimes it feels like the media is telling me I'm a bad parent for the use of computers and devices in our home.  But screen time on computers and devices are good for our kids and I'm happy to share just some of the reasons why.

They occupy time

Kids need to settle down and have something to do. We can’t take our family out on activities all of the time but they all still want to be doing 'something. Sometimes they can figure out what to do on their own, and sometimes they need help.  Anthony in particular needs to have constant input.  Perhaps as part of his ADHD and ASD, he is constantly seeking external stimuli even when he's relaxing.

Playing games, watching videos and even researching his favourite topics can give him the input he needs without the potential physical or social exhaustion he might get by playing outside or with his siblings.

They can provide an opportunity to learn

There are all kinds of ways computers teach our kids. Of course there are a million how-to and fact sites that can help them gain knowledge, but it's more than that.  We love our online resources but also use the computer to help develop their skills in other areas.  For example, Anthony made a huge leap in his conceptual thinking by using Minecraft and YouTube

They can help them socialise

Sometimes physically socialising can be hard work, especially for kids like ours with social communication difficulties.  A computer can offer an opportunity for them to connect with their peers such as good friends or perhaps family who live further away.

There are plenty of video games that work best with communication, so it's a bit of practice for their communication skills in an area they enjoy.  Just make sure they understand about playing safe online.  We have our games console in the lounge so we can always help if there's anything they need support with.

They’re an investment in their future skills

IT skills are part of life these days - many jobs on the planet require some computer knowledge. If we can get out kids these skills into their system early on the better.  Nobodies expecting kid(s) to know the differences between macOS Catalina vs Mojave, but they’ll get enough lessons consciously and unconsciously. They’ll have that foundation to work on, and without knowing it there is a chance they’ll become more skilled as time goes on.   Although there are ways that technology can be adapted further to help them access it and use it throughout their lives, these skills are bound to help.

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