You knew you would have your hands complete when your child was born. But did you know that raising your kid in the digital age would add a whole new dimension to parenting?
Today’s kids are growing up surrounded by technology, and they’re learning how to use it at increasingly younger ages. This can make things like setting boundaries around screen time, managing online privacy and safety, and encouraging creativity even more challenging than they were before.
3 Amazing Parenting Tips for This Digital Age
But don’t worry—there are some specific things you can do as a parent to help your children thrive in this digital age. One of the best ways to do this is by understanding the stage of lifespan development your child is at. Knowing how kids learn at different ages will help you understand what they need from you as parents to provide the right kind of nurturing for each stage.
Be Their Role Model
As kids are likely to follow their parents early, we must be good role models. A recent study has shown that children are more likely to use technology if they see their parents doing so.
Despite many claiming “addiction” to technology and expressing a wish to disengage, a national survey of teens found that their broad usage of social networks was primarily favorable. More than half (51%) of all kids check their social networking sites at least once daily. Also, 90% of teens have used social media, and 75% have an account on a social networking site.
Parents must be mindful of how much time their children spend online and how often they log on. If you want your kids to spend less time on their phones and more time with family and friends, then you must show them how important it is too.
1. Be a Good Role Model
Kids are likely to follow their parents at an early age. It is essential to set a good example for children, especially with the growing use of technology. If you want your kids to be able to navigate their way through social media without getting into trouble, you need to show them how it’s done.
2. Monitor Their Online Activity
You should be aware of what your kids are doing online and ensure they do not access inappropriate content. You can set up parental controls on computers and other devices that can help you monitor their internet use.
3. Talk to Them About Cyberbullying
It would help if you talked to your children about cyberbullying. Hence, they know what constitutes cyberbullying and how to deal with it if they encounter such situations online or offline.
Begin a Dialogue
Digital technology has revolutionized how we live and work, but it’s also had unintended consequences.
For example, many of us don’t realize how much time our kids spend on their phones or tablets. In fact, according to a recent study, teenagers spend more than seven hours per day on their devices. That’s more time than they spend in class or sleeping. It’s also more time than they spend doing homework.
The problem is that spending so much time staring at screens can lead to lower grades and a higher risk of depression and anxiety.
And this isn’t just about kids—it’s about parents too. How do you know what your kids are doing online? What if they’re viewing inappropriate content? And how do you balance screen time with other aspects of childhood development? It’s no wonder many parents feel overwhelmed when it comes to an understanding what their kids should be doing with their phones and tablets.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways for parents to alleviate the situation.
1. Start a Dialogue About the Ethics, Safety, and Privacy of Digital Channels
The first step is for parents and children to understand the importance of communicating safely and ethically online. This means discussing what’s OK to share on social media and what’s not. And why it’s essential not only for kids but also adults.
2. Know What Your Kids Are Doing Online
It’s not enough to talk about this stuff—you must know what your kids are up to on their devices. Are they using apps that encourage cyberbullying? Are they sending pictures without permission? If so, take action immediately by restricting their access or uninstalling those apps altogether if necessary until they’ve learned their lesson.
Maintain a Strong Connection With Your Children
Maintaining a solid connection with your children can be challenging in this digital age. They spend more time on screens than they did in the past, and they also have access to more information and entertainment options than ever before.
But there’s good news: Connecting with your kids has never been easier. Here are a few ideas to help you maintain a healthy and strong connection with your children as they grow up in this digital age.
1. Meet Them Where They Are
If your kid is younger than ten years old, it may be easiest for them if you meet them where they are with games or apps that have an educational component. If your child is older, try playing games together or finding other activities that both of you enjoy doing together.
2. Make Sure There’s No Cell Phone Use During Meals
If one family member has their cell phone out during meals, everyone else should follow suit—even if it means putting their phones away for a few minutes every day.
3. Go Outside Together Every Day
Getting fresh air is essential for adults and kids—and going outside can help increase family bonding time.
Raising Your Kid in the Digital Age
The digital age is here to stay, and it’s up to parents to navigate it with their children. You might feel like you’re losing control of your kids, but there are ways to foster their independence while keeping them safe.
The best thing you can do is trust your child’s instincts and let them figure out how they want to manage their online lives. They may not always be correct, but that’s fine. As long as you’re there for them when they need guidance or support, you’ll be helping them grow into healthy, independent adults.