Digital Parenting: How to Do it Right
According to a study by Common Sense Media, 53% of children own a smartphone by the time they are eleven.
While that may be exciting news for the Tech world, it is particularly unsettling for some parents.
From digital addictions to cyberbullying, there are severe dangers associated with children having access to various forms of digital media, especially if they are under ten years.
As a parent, you have a crucial role to play in ensuring safe digital experiences for your offspring.
That’s what digital parenting is all about: it involves mentoring, guiding, and monitoring children in the use of digital platforms.
However, without the right knowledge, you could easily make a mess of digital parenting.
Let’s take a look at some ways to do it right.
Have Honest Conversations
What kids hate most is an overbearing parent who doesn’t listen.
True, generational differences may mean that your perspective on issues may vary from your child’s.
But that is not enough reason to ignore your child’s opinions.
For instance, if your son is addicted to a video game, your first reaction should not be to take it away.
Instead, sit down with him and talk about what draws him to the game.
The underlying cause may be depression, peer pressure, and anxiety.
In such a case, taking away the phone or laptop won’t do much: it would only alienate him further.
Also, in these conversations, be clear on the privileges, responsibilities, and penalties that come with phone or laptop use.
That way, your kids know what to expect when they overstep their boundaries, and they won’t feel hard done by if you apply a sanction.
Be a Partner
The best way to connect with tech-savvy kids is to get in on the act yourself.
Imagine playing Pokemon Go or Minecraft with your child?
That would undoubtedly create a special bonding moment.
You may not understand your teenager’s addiction to Fortnite or obsession with Snapchat, but you owe it to them to try.
Don’t be that parent who is considered old-fashioned and clueless.
In fact, you need to explore those apps to see the potential dangers for yourself.
Only then can you know what to restrict and what to encourage.
Keep an eye out on the latest trends and fads in the digital space.
For instance, you wouldn’t want to waste time monitoring them on Facebook when they have migrated a chunk of their online interactions to TikTok.
Use a Tracker
In a world of cybercrime, pornography, theft, and unruly influencers, allowing your child to go on the internet in a freewheeling manner is not prudent.
That’s why phone trackers are an indispensable tool for parents.
These trackers usually allow you to monitor phone calls, text messages, and any internet-related activity in real-time.
And you don’t need to fork out huge sums on an excellent tracker.
For instance, you can install Phone Tracker on up to five smartphones and monitor those phones for free.
For an app like that, the phone user would need to know that they are being tracked.
And that is even beneficial because children don’t like parents secretly spying on them.
So, you’re better off being upfront with your kids about tracking their phones.
Let them know that it is for their good and safety.
That’s why the first point about having honest conversations is so crucial.
Additionally, these trackers come with other features such as a panic button and a lost phone feature.
They may come in handy when your child comes across a robber or ends up in a dire situation.
This list is by no means exhaustive.
There are many other steps to parenting a child digitally.
But the steps listed above are the basics.
If you put them to work, you’re likely to have a smooth digital parenting experience.