Children and technology: Helping kids see tech as a problem-solving tool

Today’s youth are growing up fully immersed in technology. Middle-schoolers are learning to code. Elementary students are helping their parents solve computer glitches. Infants who can’t yet talk or walk know what button to press to watch a video on Dad’s phone.

Editorial Image - TechnologyTechnology is here to stay, and it’s forever changing what childhood looks like.

For modern kids’ caregivers, this can be a tough pill to swallow. And for most parents today, modern technology didn’t gain popularity until they were in high school or even college. These parents have childhood memories that involve playing outdoors, riding bikes, reading books and watching the occasional Friday-night TV show. Their memories definitely don’t include tablets at age 5, smartphones at age 8 and laptops at age 10.

If you had a low-tech childhood, knowing how to best parent in regard to modern technology use is complex. But just like everything in life, it’s all about balance and perspective. Plus, there are so many great things about technology that if approached in a reasonable and responsible way, it can greatly enhance your children’s lives and prepare them for a bright future.

One of the best lessons to teach your children is that technology should always serve a purpose. It doesn’t matter if it’s a new handheld device for your home or a cool new robotic arm for surgeons, technology exists to solve problems. Help your kids grasp the purpose of technology and they’ll have a better understanding of why it’s important and how it should be used for creation, not consumption.

Boy---Girl-engaged---v1b-BLOG“What problem does it solve?” This is an engaging question that really can spark a deep conversation. Technology should make life easier. It should make tasks more efficient. It should bring us closer. Have this conversation as you drive by a newly installed stoplight. Bring it up when you buy a fancy new household appliance. Ask it when a news story features a new technological development.

When you help kids build a healthy relationship with technology, you’re giving them tools they can use to manage technology throughout their life. So the next time your child wants a new tech toy, device or video game, ask what purpose it serves and what problem it solves. Because if it’s not solving a problem, it’s most likely going to cause them.

And really, that’s why we feel the programs at Bricks 4 Kidz are so important. By embracing a STEM mindset, our classes help kids build designs and promote engineering and problem-solving skills through use of basic technologies. Those small LEGO® Bricks can become amazing robotics projects that show kids how the right tools and technologies can be used to make incredible things.

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