Leisure and New Technologies

Free time.

We understand by free time the moments that we can enjoy outside of the activities that we carry out in our working day as adults or during the school day, in the case of children.

The hours we dedicate to our free time is what constitutes our leisure time. Years ago leisure activities were mainly dedicated to outdoor activities. At present, the tendency of our society is to make the most of free time, to dedicate it to leisure activities. Here new technologies play an increasingly important role.

For some years now, new technologies have been stealing space and time from outdoor activities. First it was television and the boom of video games (Play Station, Nintendo, Xbox, etc.) Later the unstoppable advance of mobile telephony, internet, social networks and online games.

Our free time is limited and it is vitally important to plan it properly to achieve quality leisure. We are not referring only to adult leisure, but also to children’s leisure.

It is necessary to educate the child so that he knows how to put his free time to good use. This will be an important part of their educational development, without losing sight of new technologies. You must know the new trends without succumbing or becoming a slave to them.

Technological advances must be part of their leisure time and be one more complement in their educational program, but they cannot turn the child into an addict who cannot live without their mobile phone or video games.

The importance of free time.

In general, we are eager to finish our daily tasks to enjoy our leisure time, but we seldom pay attention to the benefits that free time brings us.

Free time helps us to:

– Participate in activities with other people and enjoy the company of others.

– Develop our creativity.

– Learn new activities.

– Break with the daily routine.

– Be yourself.

– Promote tolerance.

– Choose freely how to take advantage of our time.

– Have their own autonomy and develop a sense of criticism.

– Find a balance in our rhythm of life and learn to organize our time.

Help your children in their spare time.

your children in their spare time

For all this, it is very important to support your children to take advantage of their free time and help them choose leisure activities, freely and respecting their tastes and interests.

It is essential that parents value the activity chosen by their children. Not only taking into account its possible future usefulness, but for the mere fact of the immediate satisfaction that its execution brings to the child.

It is the mission of parents to promote children’s autonomy , taking into account their abilities. Likewise, participate and accompany the children whenever necessary.

Whenever possible, complement your child’s personality with activities that are enriching for him. For example, with a shy and withdrawn child, try to get him to carry out group activities, as long as he agrees. Whenever possible it is interesting to reconcile individual and collective leisure.

No less important, is to ensure that there is continuity in the activities you choose, as this will help you to make commitments. Likewise, it is very important to give the child a well-defined value system that helps him to reject bad habits or harmful leisure activities on his own.

Parents should be careful not to saturate their children’s free time with endless activities. You have to find a balance between studying and your leisure activities, purely recreational.

It is not a bad idea to instill in children the value of daily activities, which are carried out in their free time, even if they are not properly idle, such as shopping, helping with housework …

Finally, it is necessary to ensure that children do not see work as something negative and leisure as something positive.

Traditional leisure.

New technologies offer a wide range of leisure possibilities, in many cases extremely attractive, but sometimes also quite addictive. For this reason, we must not forget the traditional leisure alternatives, since they are an extraordinary contribution of values ​​that have a decisive importance in childhood.

The sport.

Carrying out sports practices is essential, since the current pace of life is sedentary. On the other hand, they are usually collective activities or games, which will instill in the child the adoption of behavioral norms and will teach him to share with others.

Community or group activities.

We must ensure that they carry out, whenever possible, activities in organized teams, where there is the figure of the monitor or educator, with sufficient knowledge to guide and direct the group. This makes the child acquire valuable attitudes, such as respect, tolerance, acceptance of the rules, …

Learning activities.

We cannot doubt the importance of activities that promote learning such as reading, painting, music. They have the advantage that children can do them, taking advantage of any small gap they have in their free time. Do not be tempted to overload your child with learning tasks . You have to know how to combine them with group activities and purely fun games.

Alternatives for individual development.

As long as the child wishes, and it is an activity requested by him and not imposed by the parents, language classes, music, ballet or crafts are desirable activities. The father or mother figure is well known to all who tries to forcefully instill in his son activities in which he would have liked to stand out, but which left him with great frustration. We must always bear in mind that the child’s free time should be leisure time and not obligations or unwanted activities.

New Technologies and free time.

New technologies are a veritable plague that fills our lives and also that of our children. There is no doubt that new technologies increasingly occupy our free time.

Despite this obvious fact, we cannot regard technology as harmful. The new technological tools must be a useful instrument at the service of the child. We must prevent the child from being enslaved and serving them.

It is important to know what new technologies can bring to your children and not see them, in every way, as a negative influence or a waste of time.

Television.

Television

Although the good use of television can promote many positive attitudes in your child, it is necessary to avoid its abuse or its misuse.

We must always bear in mind that children do what they see their parents do and not necessarily what their parents tell them to do. In this sense, it is essential to do a deep self-examination, since your child will imitate you and will do with television what he sees his parents do with it.

Take advantage of the programs he watches to discuss different topics with him. This promotes family communication and you can promote some important values ​​such as respect, cooperation or responsibility.

Avoid by all means that television is a source of conflict. Reach an agreement with your children about the use and enjoyment of it. Read the programming and choose a suitable program for the age of the children. Avoid the battles for the remote control and the constant “zapping”.

It is the mission of parents to put a limit on the time of television use, turning it off when it interferes with your child’s study or sleep time.

After you’ve watched a show, avoid asking immediate questions. Give him time to reflect on what he has seen individually so that he can draw his own conclusions.

It is important that television programs do not distort your view of reality. Clearly teach him to separate fiction from reality.

The role of advertising can be very negative for the child. Talk to your child about the role of advertising and its influence on excessive consumption.

The videogames.

The videogames

Whether through the computer or video game consoles, video games flood children’s leisure hours. Video games are a gateway to the world of computing, so by making good use of them, you can get a lot out of it.

Video games help your child to develop skills, abilities and strategies, which they can learn through play.

On the other hand, some video games pose situations that can only be solved as a team, thus promoting attitudes as important as cooperation. This multiplayer mode avoids individualization in the use of the video game.

It is a mission of parents to supervise and select their children’s video games with criteria, taking into account, for this, the contents, the theme and the indicated age of use.

As with television, it is necessary to put a well-defined limit on the time of use of video games.

One of the most frequently criticized video games is their violent, aggressive, misogynistic or sexist nature. It is the mission of parents to teach their children to differentiate between the reality and the fiction of the video game. For this it can be interesting, share and accompany the children in their moments in front of the computer or the game console, avoiding that everything is left to their free discretion.

Internet.

The Internet has been a real revolution in every home. It is undoubtedly the most modern resource and at the same time the one with the greatest projection capacity in the future.

The Internet is an open door to knowledge, which can have enormous potential if used well, helping your child on countless subjects and issues.

Now, you must make it clear to your children that not everything they find on the Internet has to be necessarily true or necessarily valid.

The Internet encourages cultural exchange and this can be an enrichment for children.

On the contrary, this ease of contacting strangers can cause them some displeasure, by misusing the possibilities of the network.

It is an important mission of parents to teach their children to be critical of the information they receive through the Internet.

Children should know the dangers and risks of browsing the Internet: pages exclusively for adults, websites with violent content or extreme ideologies, unprotected chats, theft of data or photos of a private nature, etc.

Cell phone.

The mobile phone perfectly combines the elements seen previously: television, video games and the internet. For this reason it is a very powerful tool with an unlimited capacity of applications. But at the same time, this versatility of functions gives it an addictive capacity, which we could never have suspected.

The use of mobile phones is becoming more common from a very early age. The mobile is an indispensable tool for any teenager. The importance of mobile telephony is so enormous and the dangers of addiction so enormous, that it well deserves its own and exclusive chapter to talk about this social phenomenon.

The mobile deserves a separate study among the new technologies.

The new technologies seen by the children.

new technologies seen by the children.

Unlike their grandparents, or even their parents, who on many occasions have succumbed to the generation gap and the introduction of new technologies, for today’s children these tools are fully integrated into their lives. These technological tools are commonplace for them, and are fully integrated into their lives.

Parents can use their children’s use of new technologies to learn more about their tastes, hobbies, desires, fears, or desires. In a way, observing how your child interacts in this “new world” can be an excellent opportunity to better understand his world and understand his way of being.

Children need time to absorb their own experiences. Parents should give their children that time and accompany them in this process about everything they see and learn.

In conclusion.

The good use of technology offers an infinite number of leisure and learning resources for your child.

However, it is up to you to convey to him how important it is to take into account the risk that these dizzying technological advances represent today.

With your help and supervision, your child can learn to use his free time well and take advantage of the use of new technologies in an enriching way.

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Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

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