All screen time is not created equal. Many of us probably grew up with our own parents limiting our time watching television or even using the family’s first desktop computer. Technology has evolved, and so should our relationship with it. Unlike the screen time of our youth that provided passive entertainment, advances in technology allow us to actively play and learn together with our children. In fact, we can embrace these moments of shared screen time as opportunities to bond with our children and c reate a wonderful family time, interacting together and spending time meaningfully.
Let’s change the way we think about screen time. Enjoying screen time with your child, especially in an active way, like playing video games or interactive apps together, is a great opportunity to create family bonding time.
“I don’t get to play video games with my kids too often. But when I do, I have an incredible time,” says superstar dad blogger, Michael Berman. “My son listens attentively and we engage in teamwork in ways that’s sometimes hard to replicate in a real life situation.” Engaging in shared screen time with your children, turning it into family time, creates an opportunity to meet them on their level. The experience is “meant to be shared and can teach young people about science, literacy and problem solving. Gaming with their children also offers parents countless ways to insert their own ‘teaching moment,’” says Elisabeth Gee, EdD.
Benefits of Family Time
Family bonding time, when shared through online or offline activities, has many perks:
- Get to know each other and work together.
- Improve communication among family members.
- Create stronger bonds and connections to other members of the family.
- Increasing values like respect for each other.
As parents, we worry about the negative effects of screen time and wonder how much is too much for our children. But is it possible that we’re asking the wrong questions?
We already know that technology plays an important role in education today. Tablets, laptops, and smartphones are ubiquitous in classrooms all around the world. Teachers use technology to help students practice skills such as math, science, and languages. They also use apps to help children become more empathetic to their peers. There’s lots of high-quality technology out there with valuable lessons to teach. After all, it’s what’s on the screen that matters, not the screen itself.
So creating amazing family bonding time through new technologies depends on how we do it: responsibly and in a safe environment. Certain apps like Lingokids, for example, help you connect with your kid with personalized interactive games and songs according to the age and interests of each child and family.
6 Tips For Creating Quality Family Time Through Apps
- Songs and videos. It’s a fact: music is one of the things that little ones feel more related to. Play songs and videos, try karaoke time and dance together. You can also show them your favorite songs or typical songs from when you were a child.
- Games. Playing interactive games with their parents, according to a university research, helps children develop a better understanding of technology and also is described as “quality time” by the parents who participated in the study.
- Books and audiobooks. A study published in the International Journal of Child-Computer showed that, while reading a traditional or digital book, the most important factor for kids to understand it was the participation of their parents.
- Expose children to new languages or skills. Apps like Lingokids are the perfect tool for your children to learn skills as important for their future as English is without seeing it as an obligation, and in a play-learning way.
- Create conversations offline around the activities you’ve played together online. What did they like the most? And the least? What were their favorite games and songs to play with you? What did they learn? This can also become a special family bonding time.
We recommend that parents play Lingokids with their children when they can. While the app is designed for children to be able to play on their own, having you there completes the experience.
As parents, we all want what’s best for our kids. Joining our little ones for shared screen time adventures is a great way to connect with them and ensure they’re having meaningful experiences. It’s not screen time, it’s family time!