There are so many reports that show that we have to be wary of technology, not only for how it impacts our kids, but also how it impacts us and our own relationships with our kids. That being said though, technology can also be an asset and a friend when it comes to being a good dad.
Here are 5 ways that technology can assist you in being a great dad!
1. Technology Helps You to Educate
Technology not only helps to educate you, gathering resources and ideas from other great dads, but there are also so many resources available to help your kids learn. Whether it be bringing your kids to the National Geographic Kids site to learn about animals in far off countries, or even about the vastness of space through the Discovery Kids website. These are only a few websites out of many, but so much information is available at a keystroke.
2. Expanding Their World-View
I work with college students on a daily basis and it is sad to sometimes see some youth with such limited world-views. With technology being so vast and information being so available, as parents we need to make sure that we are giving kids the ability to see and understand the world in ways that we may not have. Rather than allowing your child to shirk back in uncertainty when meeting someone from a different culture, use technology to educate your kids about other people’s backgrounds. Why does a person from a particular country wear that? Why do they eat that? etc. Technology can remove stereotypes and increase understanding and affection. Want to help your kids do this – what about helping them have an international pen pal?
3. The Power of Video
Video can help you to be able to stay connected to your family no matter where you go. Whether you use applications like Google Hangouts, Skype or other such technology, you will be able to remain in close contact. I know that there have been numerous times when I have had to travel for work, and using this technology allowed me to catch up on everyone’s day, or even to read a story to my kids!
4. Communicating With Your Kids
As mentioned, parents can use technology in a positive way, but we also have to work to make sure that any use of technology is aimed at breaking down barriers with our kids and not creating new barriers. First, we must understand how our kids are communicating with their own friends. Master this and test the waters to talk to them in that way. For example, my oldest daughter uses Instagram, and for me, it was important to gain a better understanding of this and how to use this so that I could build stronger relationship with her, and you can do the same. By doing this you can motivate them, inspire them and show them that they are loved.
5. School Involvement
So many school districts have a ton of technological ways for us as parents to stay connected to our kids’ learning. It is important to be able to stay connected to our kids’ education and be engaged in their learning. Our children do not want to let us down and can be crushed when they feel we are disappointed in them. With the technology parents have available now, we can stay on top of our kids’ school work on a daily basis. So stay in the know about the technology that is available. Connect with your kids’ teachers and let them know what you need to be able to support your kids, too. When you become more involved and invested in your child’s school life, while they may resist at first, in the end your support will sustain them. Once connected, just remember to reinforce and give them the “Great job!” that they need to hear, too!