4 Tips for Parenting in the Digital World

by | Parent Resources, Technology

Let’s face it; the modern parent often worries about the activities and the amount of time their child spends on digital technology and the Internet. As a parent, you may think of your child’s online, mobile, and technological activities as a separate digital life, but to them, it’s just life. We’ve included 4 tips to help you find a happy medium for your child’s use of digital devices .

1.  Be Wise

 Be a role model; teach your children how to use technology wisely. As an adult, you also live in a world surrounded by technology and it’s important to pass this knowledge along to your child. Encourage open discussion and educate your children about online safety, cybercrime, rules of online etiquette and behavior, information sharing, and other topics. Share your wisdom; children don’t always understand the implications of their actions and how their actions today could impact their future.

 2. Don’t be Afraid

Fear is not the answer, caution is. Don’t be technophobic. According to Scott Steinberg (The Modern Parent’s Guide), ‘The best way to make technology a healthy and positive part of family life is actually to embrace it’. As a parent, it’s important to recognize that our children will live a digitally-connected life where everyone participates in communication and creation. If you can’t beat them, join them – get in the game and have your kids show you how to do something if you don’t know. They might teach you a thing or two!

 3. Digital Limits

Creating digital limits for the entire family is a great way to set clear guidelines for your children about screen time and information sharing. Create a Digital Family Policy that specifies exactly how many hours should be spent online, what information is private, and any other particular guidelines you wish to enforce in your household.

 4. Seek Balance

 How much is too much? You don’t want to prevent your child from exploring, communicating and creating online, but you want to rest assured that they are safe and understand how to protect themselves. In order for your children to thrive in the digital world, you must find a happy balance between privacy and protection. Make sure your child clearly understands the perils and the possibilities of digital media. Give them the tools they need to act responsibly, but don’t prevent them from engaging online.

The digital world is constantly changing, and keeping up with your children’s usage can be challenging. Creating limits and balance is key to parenting in the digital age. Be aware of what your child is doing online, but avoid being overbearing as this can cause your child to become secretive about their online activity.. Don’t be afraid of technology, as people are often afraid of what they don’t understand. There are many resources out there including library workshops and various functions that focus on online education. The digital age is here to stay, so make it your mission to become involved to make yourself a better parent and role model!