In a world filled with smartphones, GPS tracking, and smartwatches that do a whole lot more than tell the time, it can seem like the conventional wristwatch has been left in the dust. The simple timepiece is redundant when every computer screen offers a digital face.
However, there are many reasons to consider a traditional watch for your child. A focused timepiece may teach your child to understand time in a different way from looking at their smartphone. While digital watches are useful for quick reference among older children, analog watches are preferred for younger children to help develop math skills.
1. Help Your Child Understand and Develop a Relationship with Time
Wearing a wristwatch helps to give your child a head start when it comes to developing a sense of time. The wristwatch is a uniquely accessible tool for students to understand how much time they spend doing certain activities. This can help children to develop early prioritization skills as they grow into a sense of personal agency and responsibility. Wristwatches are ideal for teaching and interacting with time because of their convenience and a particular focus on checking the time.
2. Use a Watch to Teaching Math Skills in a Practical Setting
When it comes to teaching your children math and logic at an early age, analog watches can’t be beat for relating mathematics education to their real-world experiences. For children between the ages of five and twelve, the use of colorful watch hands can provide extra help for students learning mathematics and fractions. The analog clock offers a skill that they can master quickly and continue to build upon in and out of the classroom.
3. It Saves Them From Distractions
Smartphones are often used for checking the time. However, smartphones are distracting and their applications can be downright addictive, even for those with well-developed impulse control. Children are still developing their attention span, so it’s important for them to learn information-seeking skills and behaviors that keep them grounded and focused on what they’re doing. Wristwatches allow children to check the time without also feeling the lure of checking all their notifications or going through their usual smartphone routines.
4. It Offers Fashion Expression and Lifestyle Gadgetry
Watches can offer your child an avenue for fashion and stylistic expression. This isn’t all about appearances either. Being able to wear a personal style or intentionally chosen gadget can go a long way toward boosting your child’s self-confidence. Wristwatches have a long tradition behind them, and they come in all styles and colors, from analog faces to digital.
Wristwatches offer many convenient lifestyle benefits and gadgets, including the ability to display multiple time zones, stopwatches for aspiring athletes, as well as powerful water-resistance and hard casing. This makes them less fragile and better suited for play and exploration.
5. It Can Reduce Their Exposure to Screens
Screen time is a concern for many parents. For younger generations, raised around digital technology, screens are a constant part of life. Smart devices are used for communication, navigation, research, reading, note-taking and fulfilling school assignments, not to mention entertainment and play in the off-hours. In other words, screens will already mediate many of their interactions with the world.
Some parents are concerned about starting their children’s dependence on screens too young. Less screen time means avoiding overstimulation, addiction, or the development of negative habits. For example, it’s particularly important for children to avoid blue light in the evening which could disrupt their sleep schedule during these important developmental years.
6. You Can Hand Down Family Treasures
The best heirlooms are functional or practical ones, and despite the enhancements that digital and smart devices bring to our lives, they themselves are not meant to last a lifetime. Many wrist-watches, on the other hand, are built to last. When your child is old enough, an heirloom or newly gifted wristwatch offers a powerful tie to the past and to familiar relationships. There’s a reason that watches have a long tradition as gifts that celebrate a graduation or coming-of-age. They represent a sense of responsibility as well as a symbolic way of taking one’s own time and life experiences into their own hands.
Ultimately, whether they offer a single time-telling function or ten, wristwatches help children develop a relationship with time that introduces them to personal responsibilities. Despite the minor risk of redundancy, watches keep things simple, shielding children from the distractions that come along with smartphones. Sometimes the non-technological solution can help to simplify your child’s life.
For more great family tips and strategies, be sure to read the other blogs on Cyber Parent.