Being a parent in times of a COVID-19 pandemic is not easy. In addition to movement restrictions and the application of security protocols to avoid contagion, the Latino community in the United States has been, along with the African American, the most affected in terms of Covid-19 contagion, among the reasons, it is that Hispanics have jobs that can only be done in person.
But, also, approximately 20% of Hispanic parents have to telecommute and also take charge of the care and education of their children.
If they also have children of preschool age, the picture is even more complicated because the little ones, who in themselves need more attention than others, have lost the public space in which they played, learned and related to other children their age.
The pandemic affects us all and forces us to adapt to the situation.
Today’s children are digital natives, even the youngest show skills to intuitively handle mobile devices.
With parents busy with their own telecommuting, screens have been an option for entertaining the little ones.
A frequent concern among parents is how much time their children should spend in front of screens.
Although there are no conclusive studies that determine a relationship between the excessive use of screens and the negative impact on children of this age, it is definitely a matter of concern and in which several elements must be taken into account.
“Let’s remember that a tablet or a phone are complementary tools and not the main ones for learning. That said, a guided and objective use helps children develop positive aspects such as the development of cognitive functions or promote some daily skills and habits, ”says Maria Alvarez, VP of Commonsense Latino https://www.commonsensemedia.org/latino
To keep in mind
Psychotherapist and child development specialist Lina Acosta Sandaal, founder of Stop Parenting Alone, https://stopparentingalone.com/linaacostasandaal states that it is fine to use electronic devices just to play once in a while, but if we are going to let our children use them while parents are working, the ideal is to make sure we find applications that combine fun and education to maximize the potential of learning.
Keeping in mind the objective of finding a tool for preschoolers to consume content that promotes formative and educational values within a safe and secure environment at the same time, it is advisable to take the following into account when looking for an application:
- A safe environment. Parents should ensure that children are not exposed to cyber risks when using applications such as requesting children’s personal information, that they do not store sensitive information and that they do not allow contact with strangers.
- Co-Visualization. Even when parents are busy, it is important that they watch with their children what they are consuming on the screen to make sure that the content is age appropriate.
- Basic learning principles to prepare them for school as letters, numbers and patterns.
- Managing emotions. Through examples of situations and the importance of sharing.
- Content funny. Very important, so that the child wants to continue interacting with that content, that is why those tools that include popular and beloved children’s characters such as Elmo, dinosaurs or Maya the bee are better.
There are many options currently available and one that has just hit the US market is EDYE, the first digital service created exclusively for preschool children developed by the non-profit organization HITN.
EDYE It has been created for children between the ages of two and six. Its content library features more than 2,500 episodes from more than 70 world-renowned preschool series and focuses on placing the characters that children love like Elmo, Pocoyo or Maya the Bee in a trusted environment for parents. An entertainment that transforms “viewing time” into “smart time” within a safe and secure environment, which is what parents want for their children.
In addition, it includes a very useful guide for parents that helps them navigate the world of technology, without losing focus on learning and fun.
Remember that technology can be a great ally, but it can also mean a danger if it is not used properly for early development, so as parents, being attentive to what the little ones consume is essential.