Pay attention to the time children spend in front of the screen

The digitalization process triggered by the Covid-19 epidemic, which has affected the entire world, directly affects parents, who are the most important stakeholders of education. Stating that the digital process, whose spread accelerated with the epidemic, reshaped the sociology of the family and changed the meaning of parenting, Dr. Derya Kavgaoğlu said, "It is an important risk that the parents ignore the time children spend in front of the screen because they are tired or do not have time."

Pay attention to the time children spend in front of the screen


Stating that the concept of 'Digital Parenthood', which started to take place in the literature since the beginning of the 21st century, gained popularity after the epidemic, from Istanbul Gelisim University Asst. Prof. Dr. Derya Kavgaoğlu said, “Parenting theories, which have helped us understand child and parent relationships and have guided the solution of problems for years, need to be reconsidered within the digital context today. While the digital world offers attractive development opportunities on the one hand, it also contains important risks on the other. Digital platforms are very important pedagogical tools for the academic development of children and teens when used correctly."

Kavgaoğlu also stated that the teacher was the only source of information in the past and used the following statements:

“Now search engines provide learners individuality in accessing information. Instead of the passive consumption of scientific information with a didactic presentation, it is possible to make mental modeling with audio-visual stimuli in the digital environment. Understanding a historical event with a video-documentary instead of listening to it in direct narration, understanding physics, chemistry and mathematics knowledge that is difficult to design in the mind with an animation, grasping new words learned in a different language by examining related web pages, photos, sound files, interest in archeology-art history and taking a virtual tour in a historical museum because of curiosity and interest in history are some of the examples of these opportunities. On the other hand, the uncontrolled use of the digital world also carries risks such as possibility of encountering inappropriate content, pornography, fear and violence, being deceived, abused and cyberbullied by malicious person or people."


Stating that it is an important risk for the child to ignore the time they spend in front of the screen because of being tired or not having time, Kavgaoğlu said, “If neglected, children and teens will find a way to satisfy their needs such as relieving, self-expression, socialization, success and gaining power through digital media. If the screen time is not controlled with a healthy communication, this may lead to screen dependency. What the digital parent has to do is to maximize opportunities and benefits in a world where opportunities exist on one side and risks on the other and minimize the risks by taking them under control.”


Stating that counseling places important responsibilities on parents, Kavgaoğlu said, “What can be practically done in this area is to control the lack of information and to be the right role model for the functional use of the digital world. Most of our learning takes place through social cognitive processes. In other words, we learn by observing. We take models according to the positive and negative consequences of the behaviors around us, and we can demonstrate the same behaviors immediately or at the appropriate time. In this sense, the parents or caregivers should be a role model in whatever digital attitude the child or teen is expected to be. They should pay attention to the time they are on the screen, to the content they follow and how they interact with that content.”


Emphasizing that they should not be indifferent to the content that the child or young person follows, Kavgaoğlu said:

“Knowing which games they play, on which sites they spend more time and understanding the basic motivation for the child to stay in these channels are very valuable information, although it requires effort by the parent. It may contain clues about the child's interests and abilities. If they are interested in a game with predominantly historical, mystical, artistic motifs or they spend a lot of time in discussion groups where artificial intelligence, technology, and big data information are discussed, it will be a correct guide to provide an alternative to these platforms. It is especially important that in the near future, many traditional professions will be replaced by automation and professional competences will change synchronously, and it is very important not to ignore the interest skills of the child and the teen with the digital world and to be able to use it for their benefits.”

Reminding that in order to increase the level of digital literacy, it is possible to access the guide documents published by the Information Technologies and Communication Authority and accessed on the internet, Kavgaoğlu said, “In addition to the parents' own efforts, educational institutions must bring the information ranging from online information search to digital rights and responsibilities with the parents.”

Edited date: 27.05.2021
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