Parents who have recently acquired an iPad, iPhone, or other modern tech might feel a bit overwhelmed with setting it up and using it. Learning new technology can be challenging. With so many options and specific lingo associated with every new device, it can be confusing. However, anyone at any age can learn to use and enjoy new technology and a great way for moms and dads, and even grandparents, to get more familiar with their devices is to employ the help of their children and grandchildren.
Younger generations have been blessed with the natural ability to understand and use modern technology. This is a great benefit to parents, i.e. it creates an opportunity for the two generations to come together and learn from one another.
Let Children Run the Show
Most children of any age like to be in control and show what they know. Parents can ask children to take on the role of teacher and explain how to use the device or technology. Flipping the roles can help foster a strong relationship between parent and child.
Pick a time and place that works for everyone, so no one feels rushed. Turn family dinner night into pizza and tech night. And, come armed with questions and goals for the session to help keep everything on track. It might help to break up the learning sessions into smaller chunks to avoid information overload or frustration.
But, Come Equipped
Before asking children to help set up new devices, parents might benefit from researching certain topics themselves. Main topics to pay attention to include privacy settings and social media. Knowing privacy settings and how to control them is important to protect children while on social media and also to protect an adult’s information. Engaging in the learning process is one thing, but offering up suggestions on ways to keep yourself safe gives parents an opportunity to inquire about how kids’ might be keeping themselves safe as well.
Allowing children to take over and assume a teaching role helps build confidence and trust. It creates an environment where communication and trust are naturally encouraged. Opening up communication around technology usage can lead to insight in other areas as well, things like difficulties in school, friends, or a budding interest in a new hobby.
Capitalize On the Situation
During the learning and bonding sessions, parents will also discover what social media apps their children use and how they use them. Instead of hounding or interrogating children about social media, children will naturally open up about the subject while teaching their parents about the devices and its features.
Social media is a great way to connect with family and friends and to stay connected with children. Capitalizing on the opportunity to talk about social media’s full capabilities gives parents a convenient excuse to inquire about how kids are using the medium.
Technology is a magical thing. It brings cultures together, opens up communication around the world, and facilitates learning. Families can use technology to get these benefits in their homes as well. By allowing children to teach them about technology, parents and children can bond and learn more about each other.
Sara Woodard-Ortiz, the owner of The HeartFull Journey, is an ally for heartbroken moms who are going through separation and divorce. Her goal is to help moms love themselves during and after divorce as a way to build a foundation to attract a new, satisfying relationship. Sara lives in Danville, IL with her daughter, Olivia, and their cats, Bianca and Katniss. When Sara is not working on her business, you can find her playing Minecraft or drinking coffee at a local cafè.