The Tech Talk 

Have the tech talk with your children more sooner than later.  You might not be "tech" saavy but rest assured, your children will be and before you know it.   Apps and phones and i-pads are powerful tools and you want to make sure that your loved one does not get hurt. 

Know your devices - tablets are being marketed to pre-school aged children and many have internet and wireless capabilities.   Remember, many new devices have had you set up ID's with credit card information and it is all too easy for you AND your little one to rack up some bills.  Text messaging can occur with things you thought were just music or video players.

Know your Apps - thousands of "applications" can tempt your child.  Many have cool new ways to chat or swap pictures.  Some allow for unlimited free texting and effectively offer anonymity to users.  You may not see a bill but you will want to set some boundaries and establish the line between privacy and old fashioned parental supervision.  Diaries were a therapeutic way to vent in the past but now, the entry may be broadcasted and re-shared with everyone and anyone.  Mobile devices can let kids circulated videos of school drug searches to inappropriate images to girlfriends or boyfriends.  Most parents have no idea.  The tech talk can go both ways.

Tech Talk

Don't Let Things Be Permanent

The tech talk will be an ongoing discussion as your child grows up. Here are some things to consider when it is age appropriate.

  • Friends can be hurt when dates or events get cancelled and they see your child "checked in" some place that they tried to hide from them.
  • New boyfriends or girlfriends can be ran off in the future before they even get started if they aren't careful about the image they portray in cyberspace.
  • Job offers can disappear right after an interview if an employer happens to do some research.
  • Coaches and college recruiters and how they see them might be important in their future.   
  • "Career death by twitter or Facebook" is increasing as workers post or say the wrong things.

One last thought from Smile For Me Toys,  the tech talk should include ways of minimizing the use of technology and applications.  We are strong advocates for toys and games that do not rely on touch screens or programs with bugs and glitches and may have numbing effects on young personalities and their development.  Apps are opening up new worlds but before any flower blooms the seed in the dirt needs to be carefully nutured.