The development in technology has revolutionized the lifestyle of today’s generation. As parents of today’s generation, we need to be very aware and conscious about our children’s internet usage. We need to ensure that our children are using technology correctly rather than being used by the technology.
Our generation is lucky enough to learn and live life without the internet and with the internet. But we should not forget that our children are growing up in the digital world. For our children, it is impossible to avoid the internet in this digital world.
As per the report, about 53% have their smartphones by the age of 11. For our generation, it is very challenging to teach our a good usage of electronic devices as we are also new to this digital world.
Even though we parents are new to the digital world, we are mature enough to analyze the consequence of the extreme usage of devices and the internet, but it is not the same in the case of our children. However, we can work hand in hand with our children and teach them how to use the technology correctly.
It is crucial to help them to learn the concept of healthy use of technology. If you have no idea how you can help your children learn, here is the article covering some effective digital parenting tips. As a mother of two children, I have tried these tips.
The main objective of this article is to provide you as parents to safely and responsibly engage in the digital environment and foster communication and trust between children and parents.
Firstly, let’s understand what digital parenting means.
What is digital parenting?
In simple words, parenting means child-rearing. Parenting refers to promoting and supporting your child emotionally, morally, physically, and socially from infancy to adulthood. The parents who need to raise their children along with keeping an eye on their online activities to protect them from all online fraud and dangers is called digital parenting.
With the rise of the development of technology, today’s generation of parents has to perform both parenting and digital parenting simultaneously. Because of the sudden expansion in technology, children have had their own devices since their childhood. Thus, you as parents need to be more conscious about raising your children in the digital world.
Ten effective digital parenting tips
1) Be a good role model
Children are good observers and fast learners. They quickly pick up the things they see around. They assume that whatever their elders, especially parents, do is always correct. So, when you often use your devices ignoring the things or the people around you, your children might also pick up such habits.
As per the report, parents of young children pick up their phones nearly 70 times a day. Try to put your phone away whenever your children are around you. Remember that children are excellent mimics, limit your own media usage.
2) Set a limit and encourage playtime
Your children must have a break from screens and limit their exposure to technology. Encouraging your children for outdoor activities can help them stimulate their creativity. There is no such for limiting technology. It all depends on each child and the environment they grow up in.
Limiting technology daily should be a priority, especially for younger children. You can also set your child’s screen time online using some parental control apps. Besides this, have a family discussion and set clear limits on your child’s devices usage. Let your children know the consequences they may face if they break the rules.
3) know the value of face-to-face communication
It is the best thing to make your children know the importance of face–to–face communication at an earlier age. Please encourage your children to have more offline friends and play together rather than making lots of virtual friends and playing a video game online with them.
Moreover, engaging in the back-and-forth conversation “face to face” is crucial for language development, as back and forth conversation helps improve your children’s language skills much more than passive listening or one-way interaction with a screen.
4)Create tech-free zones
Creating a tech-free zone helps you to break your children’s unlimited screen time. Implement strict rules to not screen time while having a meal. Make your children clear that mealtimes mean no screen time.
Recharge your phones in the common room or outside your children’s room to avoid their temptation to use your phones. Please do not give your children to use phones before their bedtime. Instead of giving them to use phones before bedtime, tell them a story or have a basic conversation with them.
5) Never use technology as an emotional pacifier
Many parents often make mistakes using technology as an emotional pacifier to calm their children. They find it an effortless way to keep their children engaging, calm, and quiet. If you are also one of them doing such things, you are wrong, and stop as soon as possible.
Whenever they start crying, throwing tantrums, do not give them your device to use to keep them quiet. Technology should not be the way to keep your children calm and quiet. Instead, it would help if you taught your children how to be strong emotionally.
6) Teach online etiquette and friendliness
Children are very innocent in nature. They are not mature enough to determine the lousy behavior hovering on the internet. So as a responsible parent, you need to teach them and make them understand the negative impact of using technology and the internet.
Be a good role model for your children as parents play an important role in children’s learning development. Teaching your child good online etiquette and manner is equally important as teaching kindness, friendliness, and discipline.
7) Guide your child through their mistakes and weakness
Just like every human being, children also make mistakes in their learning phase. Children may make mistakes while surfing the internet. They may unknowingly visit or access the sites that are not appropriate for their age.
They may also make friends online who could be a fraud and want to collect your personal information through your children. So, be alert and also make your children aware of such online predators. It is good for your child’s safety if you could be around your children when using any devices.
Another thing to mention is to pay attention to your child’s use of correct speech and language skills. In Dallas child speech therapy is as common as speech therapy for adults. Why wait for your child to become older when you can address the issue from a younger age.
8) Apps for children
Keeping your children separate from using devices may not be possible in today’s era, and also, not allowing using devices in the digital world would be demerits for your children. However, allowing them to use technology by setting the limits is okay.
Setting limit not only means setting screen time, but it also means choosing the best apps for your children according to their age. Children are not mature enough to determine which apps would be helpful for them. So, look for some popular and best educational apps for your children.
9) Offer a variety of activities for them to do
Children kill their time by surfing the internet when they are bored or have nothing to do. They spend hours and hours just facing the screen, which can be very harmful to your child’s physical and mental health.
So as parents, encourage your children to go outside. Be a part of some outdoor activity such as futsal, cricket, or basketball. Besides these, you can also offer some indoor activities such as playing chess, reading inspiring books or puzzles.
10) Have a realistic expectation
Do not expect your children to be perfectly disciplined as soon as you implement rules on the usage of their devices. Everyone, even your children, needs some time to adjust according to your rules and regulations. It is the same as you can not be perfect parents overnight. Similarly, you cannot expect your children to be disciplined or perfect children overnight.
Technology and media are an integral part of today’s people’s life. Technology has rapidly changed ways of communicating between parents-children, acquiring information, and solving problems. With the introduction of technology and the internet, raising kids of today’s generation might feel difficult and frustrating.
But, separating your child away from technology in today’s era is almost impossible. So, understanding the concept of digital parenting first and implementing it in your practical life would benefit you. Because parenting style should also need to be modified, the fundamental role of parents and the parenting goals remain unchanged.
Like all parents, digital parents also need to be responsible role models, and, more than that, you need to establish communication and trust so that your children will discuss their online activities openly without any hesitation. Us digital parents should understand what parenting style works best for their children so that they not only participate in the digital age but also thrive.
Thus, the goal of the approach of positive digital parenting has been promoted through this article.