Living in such a technologically reliant society, parents often find themselves teaching computer skills to their children; But, how? Every family will have a slightly different answer to this question, based on their lifestyle and relationship with technology.
Some newborns will have seen their parents use computers and will be familiar with them. Others will not have access to a computer until they are older. However, there are a few common standards to follow. When you wish to introduce computers to your children, consider the following:
- Your child is old enough to understand what a computer is
- They are needing to use computers for school
- You’re present, so you can supervise them
This means that your youngster can start using computers between the ages of 3 and 6. You could choose to begin with educational programmes or cooperative family games for your child.
Anything you do, on the other hand, should be introduced with you in the room. Children under the age of eight should not be allowed to use a computer or learn online without adult supervision.
You may still be asking – How do I teach computer skills to kids anyway?
Starting your youngster on a family laptop or desktop rather than a tablet or phone is one approach to introduce them to computers. Why? This restricts the child's access to the computer and allows you to teach them the fundamentals, such as how to switch it on and off and open and close applications.
Children will also need to learn how to use laptops as they will most likely become reliant on them at some point during their education and beyond.
By learning on an actual computer, your child will be able to learn the basics of hardware and software, whilst also improving their skills with a keyboard and mouse in ways touchscreens are not able to.
You could also show your child a film or a webpage on the history of computers for kids to help them grasp what computers are and how they have evolved over time.
You should also teach youngsters basic computer hygiene at this time, such as washing (and fully drying) their hands before using the computer, using gentle hands, and keeping food and beverages away from the keyboard. This will provide your child with a strong foundation for learning on computers at school and doing homework.
Internet Safety and Our Children
When teaching computer skills to kids, it is crucial that we also consider the safety of our little ones while on the web. The Internet is a large platform, and much of it is not appropriate for children of any age. So, how do you keep your children secure when using the internet?
Examining your internet service provider's parental controls is one approach to ensure basic online safety. This will allow you to ban the websites and language that you find the most offensive. That isn't enough, though. You'll have to play a role in keeping your child safe online by teaching them proper online behavior and monitoring their online activities.
It may be helpful to set some basic rules when kids are first introduced to the computer, introducing them to the idea of privacy. For example:
- Don’t post personal pictures
- Don’t reveal any personal information online, like your name, address, where you attend school, or your passwords
- Never agree to meet someone in person that you met online.
- Don’t respond to threats or bullying
- Don’t post threats or bully anyone else
- Tell a parent or guardian immediately if you see or receive anything that scares, worries, or makes you otherwise uncomfortable.
With older kids and teens, who typically have their own devices and desire more privacy, teaching internet safety becomes more difficult. You've hopefully set a solid foundation for safety with these kids, but keep an eye out for signals of trouble.
However, the best thing you can do is simply be present. Spend time together online using programmes and playing games to teach your child appropriate behavior. Make sure your child's computer use takes place in a common area of the house so you can keep an eye on it. Cyber safety education starts at a young age, read this for more information on the importance of cyber safety for your little ones.
Monitor their video watching and listen to your child if they have concerns about something that happened online.
These days, children can learn the basics of technology in child care - with that sometimes including basic safety. Find an approved child care provider with Toddle.
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