It is very challenging for parents to raise children who are more comfortable using social media and more tech savvy than we can ever be. In older times, parenting was relatively easier when children used simpler forms of communication. As a parent, you do not have to be a technology expert in order to keep an effective check on your children. Here is some advice on raising children in the digital age.
This is the first and foremost rule to follow when your children are exposed to a digital device or a social platform. Talk to your children about your concerns and ensure that they understand the difference between being online and being offline. Tell them that you expect them to behave online just like they would in person. Have discussions about your family values and goals. Make sure that while you talk about this, you stay calm because when a problem arises, your children will be comfortable speaking to you about it when the lines of communication will be open.
- Mentor Instead of Monitor
In addition to using monitoring apps like MamaBear, PocketGuardian and Verizon’s FamilyBase, mentor your children. Talk about these apps and let your children know that you are watching and are there if they need you. Teach your children to balance their time online and offline on their own. Nothing is better than children doing the right on their own. It leaves a bad impression on both the parents and the children when you can catch them doing something wrong.
- Manage Screen Time and Tech Diet
Dedicate a day at home which should be screen-free. Although it is not possible now because like it or not – being technology-free is impossible. It is normal for everything to be now online. Your children might need to use the computer to complete his/her homework so a screen-free Sunday may not be possible. Understand what your children do on the screen, are they working or playing games? Are they connecting to other or going offline to get their work done? These are important steps in considering how to monitor screen time.
- Understand The Devices and the Use of Privacy Settings
Everything now comes with privacy settings. As a parent, you should know how to use the privacy settings and switch them on when the need arises. Make sure that you understand the devices your children are using and go through them every once in a while. Keeping that in mind, also respect their privacy by letting them know that you will be looking at their data.
- Work with your School and Teachers
As a parent and teacher, you must work together to raise good digital citizens. A collaborated focus on the positive aspects of digital learning should be supported and worked upon. Our children will need to use the digital arena when they step out in practical life anyway so why not teach them from the start?
In the end, it is important to be a good role model as children do as parents do. Have healthy screen timings and go tech-free at least an hour before bedtime so that your home has a good night.